Aiming to raise awareness about energy use, the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation will outfit homes in the 6200 block of Clearview Street in Northwest Philadelphia with energy-saving devices as part of its ongoing Urban Energy Conservation Initiative.
The May 15th event, sponsored with Home Depot, PECO, the Philadelphia Water Department, TOOKANY/Tacony Frankford Watershed, G’Town Restoration CDC, Foundations Inc., and the Philadelphia Gas Works, will educate homeowners about “green” living and the many ways they can save on energy usage by simply changing their habits.
“Our energy-saving block initiatives are a great way to raise awareness about the need to end wasteful use of water, gas and electricity, and begin to lower energy-costs for residents as well as the strain on municipal services,” said Erika Conway, OARC’s Director of Community and Government Affairs. “Our long-range goal is to implement these events throughout Northwest Philadelphia, serving thousands of homes.”
The day-long program, which runs from 10 AM to 4 PM, will offer tips on weatherization, water consumption, high-efficiency home appliances and other devices. In addition, experts will demonstrate how to conduct a home energy audit to determine how much gas and electricity homeowners use monthly.
As an educational component of the program, students from Martin Luther King High School will assist in the installation of energy-saving appliances and other conversions. The students received training from Top Quality Home Services and Earth Force Delaware Valley as part of a green-jobs program at the Philadelphia Center for Arts & Technology, or PECAT.
Also as part of the initiative, TOOKANY/Tacony-Frankford Watershed hosted a container gardening workshop for the residents earlier this month, highlighting the importance of plants and trees in stormwater management. The groups helped homeowners assemble their own outdoor potted planters with donations from area nurseries.
At the May 15th event, OARC will announce the winner of its “What Now?” survey contest, which invited Northwest residents to submit an essay outlining how they would handle an energy disaster such as the shutdown of electricity grids throughout the northeastern United States, followed by the loss of public utilities such as water, gas and telephone service.
The winner will receive a starter-home energy retrofit that includes installation of interior and exterior energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs, automatic thermostats, low-flow showerheads, water-saving aerators for sinks and faucets throughout their home and a home energy audit by Top Quality Home Services.
“Cleaning and greening” has been one of the five pillars in OARC’s model for community revitalization and economic redevelopment, often partnership with the City of Philadelphia. Through its work, OARC and Philadelphia have been selected as a finalist from over 600 cities nationwide to receive the Home Depot Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development.