Starting the 2016 Block Captains Initiative


winitIt is 2016, and we are now entering the final year of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a country wide competition to get cities in America to reduce wasted energy. In order to be the city that reduces its energy use the most, Cambridge is encouraging residents to sign up for no-cost home energy assessments through its Block Captains Initiative. As you know, the Block Captain is a friendly face that works with people in their social networks to help them sign up. These networks can include family, friends, neighborhoods, co-workers, classrooms, and schools.

During the assessment, a professional home energy advisor evaluates the health, safety, and performance of heating and cooling systems in your home and provides no-cost instant savings measures such as LED light bulbs, water saving [view entry]

Working With Schools for the GUEP Prize

In the course of competing for the Georgetown Energy Prize, the Cambridge Energy Alliance has made sure that outreach and cooperation with locals schools is a priority for our energy reduction strategy. Some people may ask, “Why schools?”

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The reason schools are so important is that they are the single largest source of municipal energy use in Cambridge. In fact, on a country-wide basis, the EPA estimates that 25% of energy use in schools is wasted. Of the energy, most come from sources similar to many homeowners: mainly lighting and cooling.


By implementing energy efficiency measures, many K-12 schools have been able to reduce energy costs by as much as 30 percent in existing facilities. The Energy Alliance is very aware of this and has made informing schools and working … [view entry]

Seeking Block Captains!

The City of Cambridge is seeking out motivated individuals to join our team of Block Captains to catapult the City into first place as the largest energy saver in the country. Cambridge is a semi-finalist in the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize and we need help from you to get over the goal line. If you are interested in helping your neighbors and your City save energy through Mass Save no-cost energy assessments, please fill out this brief interest questionnaire. The Energy Efficiency Block Captains will be responsible for implementing an organized effort to enable energy saving assessments at the neighborhood level. Responsibilities include:

  • Sign neighbors up for no-cost MassSave energy assessments
  • Track participation and follow up with neighbors to help complete assessments and track resulting energy-saving actions
  • Organize optional
  • [view entry]

Georgetown Prize Phone Bank October 19th

It’s getting cooler outside, but Cambridge’s competition in the Georgetown University Energy Prize is heating up! The schools are back in session and they’re In It to Win It—on September 30th over 500 CRLS students participated in the Alliance for Climate Education assembly to learn about why climate change is important to them and how they can take action to reduce energy use and emissions in Cambridge. And the Education First Glocal Challenge has over 150 students signed up for teams to find solutions to wasted energy in Cambridge.

Adults can get involved, too— We need your help at Cambridge City Hall Annex on October 19th! Join Cambridge Energy Alliance and other climate groups across Cambridge in a collaborative phone call party that will target folks who have already expressed interest but … [view entry]

Block Captain Coordinator Internship Opportunity

Energy Efficiency Block Captain Coordinator Volunteer Internship

The Cambridge Energy Alliance is recruiting a part-time volunteer for internship level work. We are looking for a volunteer to help CEA and the City of Cambridge win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize. We need to reduce our energy use the most, and we have a little over a year to do it! This is an exciting opportunity to build community involvement in this city-wide initiative to reduce wasted energy by coordinating action at the neighborhood level. Projects will be organized by CEA staff in the Cambridge Community Development Department, but most of the volunteer work can be carried out remotely.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize

The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a $5 million, two-year competition between 50 cities across the … [view entry]

Let’s Win It, Cambridge!

Perhaps you saw our ad in this month’s City View? Well, it’s happening! The Georgetown University Energy Prize is going on now, and we are all a part of it. Our city’s collective energy use is being measured and the more we can lower it by the end of 2016, the better shot we have at a 5 million – yes, million – dollars. The money would be used to fund energy initiatives in the city that will benefit everyone. So let’s WIN IT!

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Go to our brand new Ideas Forum. Vote and comment on the posts that are there, and then submit your own ideas for how we can reduce our energy use. Think big! Think small! We want to hear it all.
  2. 2. Sign
  3. [view entry]

Cambridge Recognizes TAGS for Energy Efficiency Efforts

If you’ve visited the tools or lighting aisles at TAGS hardware store on a Saturday or Sunday, you have probably seen a home energy information table. The home energy information table has provided thousands of customers with free advice and resources for saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. On Friday May 29, Cambridge City officials visited TAGS to thank owners and staff for their work to make the city more energy efficient.

At an informal ceremony in front of the store, Cambridge City Councilor, Leland Cheung, and Outreach Director of Cambridge Energy Alliance, Meghan Shaw, presented a resolution to TAGS Co-owners Margaret “Mardi” Moran and Simon Shapiro. The resolution, approved by Cambridge City Council on Monday May 25, reads “The City Council commends with gratitude the exemplary contribution of the owners and … [view entry]

Canvassing Door-to-Door to Help Cambridge Win $5 Million


Rick Muehlke is canvassing door to door in Cambridge. He’s talking with residents about ways they can save energy, to help Cambridge win $5 million in the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

Canvassing door to door is challenging work, but Rick knows people need to take action to reduce energy demands and help our city beat the 49 other U.S. cities competing for the prize. He also knows people are more likely take action when someone talks with them face-to-face.

Rick has done canvassing work for years, but he started to canvass in Cambridge on March 18. Rick explained, “It’s hard work, but it’s all worth it, to help reduce carbon emissions and help people save money by saving energy.” On a good day, Rick will knock on 50 doors, speak with … [view entry]

Help For Energy Hogs Workshops

In Boston and Cambridge, until March 31st, houses of worship and other nonprofits that own buildings with large energy bills for their size can qualify to get an energy-upgrade worth at least $35,000.  This upgrade could convert your heating system from oil to gas; install a new efficient heating system or other work that would help lower your energy bill significantly.

In partnership with Black Ministerial Alliance, the City of Cambridge and Northeast Utilities, HEET is offering the Help for Energy Hogs program.

An energy efficinecy developer willl pay for the upgrades, as well as own and insure any measures that they install.  The nonprofit will not have to pay any up-front money and the cost for the upgrades is not reflected on its balance sheet.

At each workshop, we will … [view entry]

Cambridge in the running for the $5M Georgetown U. Energy Prize!

Cambridge has been selected to advance to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that challenges us, along with other small- and medium-sized communities to develop and implement creative, sustainable, and replicable strategies to save energy.

Our commitment to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency has put us in the running against leading small- and medium-sized communities across the county.

Cambridge will work together over the next two years with NSTAR, business associations, local schools and universities, residents, and our innovation and technology sector businesses to implement our energy-saving plan that will not only deliver financial benefits to residents, but will also help ensure the long-term sustainability of our community. Most importantly, we will develop new approaches that other communities can replicate—so that we can all do … [view entry]

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