Find out how to save money and energy with resources for renters.
Resources for Renters
BayREN supports Bay Area families who are renting their home with free resources to save money and increase the comfort of their home. There are a number of ways as a renter you can make your home more comfortable and pay less in monthly utility bills. In addition, if your property owner is interested, they can get substantial rebates on everything from heating and air condition systems to hot water heaters to make their buildings operate better.
Rising Sun's Fellow Spotlight:
BayREN has a partnership with Rising Sun, a local energy efficiency provider that specializes in hiring and training local young people to go into their communities to engage homeowners and tenants to conduct energy efficiency improvements. Rising Sun’s approach helps create skills and jobs for high school students as well as older college-bound students. The following is the first in a series of spotlights on Rising Sun’s fellows.
Andrew Powell is a 23-year old geology major at the University of California, Davis, with a love of hiking, camping, online gaming, and taking care of his dog and four cats. He started working with Rising Sun when he graduated from high school in 2014, where he began as a project assistant. Since then, he has risen through the ranks as a Leader in Field Training (LIFT), Summer Program Manager, and Energy Specialist. In that time, he estimates he has worked on over 1,000 homes.
Andrew first came to Rising Sun to make some money right out of school, but he soon found something even more in the close relationships and friendships he built with his co-workers. He has seen how Rising Sun’s program has helped so many young people, particularly low-income youths, build new job skills while contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Andrew emphasizes the importance of Rising Sun’s impact, “I cannot stress enough how amazing the work everyone there does is and how much they are helping people in the Bay Area community by working with people to save money, receive job training, and become more environmentally sustainable.”
It was not always an easy job, and outreaching with clients who did not understand the benefits or elements of energy efficiency was a particular challenge, even with free services. He and his co-workers had to work hard to help clients get over the skepticism and confusion to request a Green House Call (the central part of the Direct Install Program) and get the services they needed. As one client said, “I was given information on how to save energy and water from two incredibly courteous and professional members of your team. They answered all my questions and were excellent in their work.” Andrew felt this kind of response was typical once they were brought in to complete the upgrades and made his work particularly fulfilling. He recounted that one client was so taken by their work that she wanted to advertise for them and spread the word in her community. He summed up this feeling in this quote, “When a person enjoys the service so much that they take it upon themselves to become involved in the company, and our mission, it is truly the most rewarding experience.”
As Andrew works to complete his degree at UC Davis, he is inspired by Rising Sun to find a career in some area of environmental consulting. If the right position at Rising Sun becomes available, he sees himself returning to where he got his start.