LOCAL. ENERGY. MATTERS.
"I cry tears of joy for all the help you gave me. I am now warm in my house and I have water to use. Before I felt so alone and helpless. Now I know that people care and I am not alone," says one Ecolibrium3 participant. "You are an asset to Duluth," says another.
What we say is that local energy matters.
Ecolibrium3’s mission is to inspire and lead change in our community toward an equitable and sustainable future. Our flagship project, the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP), accomplishes our mission by working with households, contractors, utilities, and communities to reduce residential energy use through coordinated training, home performance assessments, bidding and contracting for energy improvements, and providing post-improvement quality assurance. We have worked with over 1000 households, saving each an average of $689 per year on their energy bills. Ecolibrium3 has been recognized as an EPA Seeds of Change Awardee for innovative design and delivery of programs that has been replicated in other portions of the country, and our CEO has received the White House Champion of Change Award for work on community resiliency following the Duluth flood in 2012. We developed a pilot program for faith communities in which parishioners from four area churches have had energy audits conducted on their homes in order to receive an energy fund through Minnesota Power for their congregational building. We have worked on an energy pilot in one such neighborhood, Morgan Park. This former "company town" for US Steel was called the Model City when it was built. The Model City 2.0 program will help Morgan Park residents make their historic homes energy efficient and revitalize their neighborhood--without losing its character. Ecolibrium3 is took the capacity we built through DEEP and our recognition as a leader in energy efficiency and spearheaded Duluth's entry into the Georgetown University Energy Prize, which resulted in a collaborative effort with our City and utilities to lower energy use in residential and municipal buildings citywide. Duluth Shines!, Giving Comfort At Home, and energy outreach continue the work on the energy sustainability side of our organization.
However, Local Energy isn't just about furnaces and water heaters. It's also about building community in Duluth's historic neighborhoods. Ecolibrium3 has become the convening agency by taking a lead role in community coordination in our own neighborhood, Lincoln Park. We run a community portal website, www.ourlincolnpark.com, as well as an Our Lincoln Park Facebook page and @ourlincolnpark Twitter feed to highlight great things going on in the community. The ongoing neighborhood identity and development work has resulted in a popular neighborhood logo, tag line and the annual Lincoln Park Open House, which highlights our neighborhood assets during this neighborhood-wide event. Our Stone Soup portable garden project sent 100 repurposed grain bags filled with flowers and vegetables throughout the neighborhood, beautifying bus stops, storefronts, and yards. Work beginning in our namesake park will include $50,000 in grant dollars secured by Ecolibrium3 from the US Bank Places to Play program.This year, we are proud to be an AmeriCorps/VISTA host to a cohort of 10 volunteers doing work in Duluth with food security, increasing water conservation, building neighborhood leadership, tackling the opioid epidemic, working with families, and helping with energy repairs. In addition, these folks are working on a housing project as a model for other communities to help house future AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteers.
We are not a flashy organization, but we work hard to do what needs to get done through identifying opportunities for change, building relationships, and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of not only our neighborhood, but the city of Duluth.