We all know the saying, “Home is where the heart is.” If you agree with that old adage, the folks at Community Energy Project have you covered – and then some. Since 1979, Community Energy Project has empowered homeowners of all economic backgrounds through education and hands-on learning.
Community Energy Project began in 1979 as a project of Responsible Urban Neighborhood Technology (RUNT) in response to the oil crises of the 1970’s. A VISTA national service member offered the first workshops, teaching people skills like caulking and building temporary plastic storm windows. CEP incorporated in Oregon in 1987 and became a contractor with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Housing and Community Development, offering training to low-income people through workshops and direct weatherization services to seniors and people with disabilities. Over time, they’ve added workshops in water conservation and lead poisoning prevention. Currently, their workshops are open to people of all income levels.
Community Energy Project offers Weatherization Workshops where folks can learn to implement simple measures to lower home energy use by installing effective weatherization materials using basic tools. Each participating income-qualified Portland household receives a free kit of materials worth over $100. They also offer DIY Insulation Workshops which cover attic insulation installation. This workshop is great for those interested in saving money on insulating their attic and reducing their carbon footprint. Community Energy Project also offers Lead Poisoning Prevention workshops. This workshop is great for those interested in prevention strategies and lead safe cleaning. This workshop is also helpful in educating folks about potential lead sources in their homes.
This week at Portland Radio Project we featured Community Energy Project as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen below to interviews with key members of the organization:
Sherrie Pelsma, Program Director
Rob Hemphill, Program Coordinator
Charity Fain, Executive Director
Emanuel Scott, In-Home Services Manager