All In Energy turned 5 this year! Here's a quick recap of the organization's progress and accomplishments throughout those years
As many of you know, All In Energy turned five years old this year! As this year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about what we’ve accomplished in our first five years as an organization. I wanted to share a quick recap of the tremendous growth we’ve had since we started in spring 2018 and share some of what is so exciting about where we are today.
Thinking back a little over 5 years ago, Gabe and I didn’t even know each other! We were introduced by a professor at BU and, after a 2 hour conversation over coffee, Gabe invited me to join him in launching a new nonprofit All In Energy with a mission to accelerate an inclusive clean energy economy. The vision was to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to underserved communities and to leverage this work to create first-time career-launching clean energy jobs for diverse candidates. Looking back, I hardly knew this guy, but I took the biggest risk of my career and said yes. Boy am I glad I did.
We launched in summer 2018 in the BU Summer Accelerator program. We hired college interns and started tabling and doing presentations in Dorchester to connect residents to Mass Save no-cost home energy assessments. The next year, we built a partnership with the City of Cambridge focused on renters and today we lead outreach on all their energy programs, including their innovative new Electrify Cambridge program focused on fully decarbonizing residential buildings citywide. From 2019-2021, we built partnerships with the cities of Lawrence, Methuen, Chelsea and Framingham, building our multilingual team to connect Spanish and Portuguese speaking residents to Mass Save programs. The pandemic hit in the middle of this and, after a scary moment with only 2 weeks cash on hand, we pivoted to phone-based community solar outreach, received an outpouring of support from our donors, and we created a new Energy Bill Check Up service to help people cancel harmful 3rd party energy supply contracts and get out of massive energy bill debt.
At the end of 2021, we had our largest opportunity for growth yet when we were selected to become the Lead Implementation Vendor for a new utility-sponsored community-outreach program called the Mass Save Community First Partnership, or CFP for short.
We went from supporting 8 communities in Eastern MA in 2021 to supporting 26 communities statewide in 2022, most of which are environmental justice communities. In 2023, the program doubled - we are now supporting over 50 communities statewide,
We have shifted from doing field-based outreach campaigns ourselves to training advocates in the communities to run these campaigns. Working in CFP has allowed us to demonstrate on a larger scale that reaching residents in underserved communities is possible. Comparing the number of Home Energy Assessments done in CFP communities in 2022 with those completed in 2021, we see a 36% increase in home energy assessments, while these numbers declined in similar communities not participating in the program.
We have also been able to more quickly and effectively channel feedback to decision makers to create change in how the Mass Save programs are operated statewide. For example in partnership with the communities we serve, we have successfully advocated for the addition of new languages to the Mass Save phone lines, most recently Haitian Creole. More vendors are now able to serve low income customers to shorten the tremendous wait times they were experiencing to get work done. And Mass Save incentive rules have changed to benefit customers, such as by broadening who can get no-cost heating and cooling upgrades in rental units.
It makes me so proud when I hear our community partners say things like Alex Pratt the Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development in Malden recently did when he noted, “It’s not hard to imagine how another organization with the same contract but different values might dismiss, delay, or otherwise “phone in” the work of bringing feedback to their client and making changes to the program. But AIE continuously elevates the needs of EJ communities to program sponsors, and has earned our trust time and again in pushing for changes that will help us serve all of our residents.”
The rapid growth of our work has provided opportunities for us to expand our team and staff to advance into new roles. And it has served as a launching point into careers. To date, we have provided jobs, paid or credit earning internships to 70 individuals, of whom 57% have been women, 57% multilingual, and 67% BIPOC or Latinx. For 74%, their work with us was their first experience in the clean energy industry. It has been so inspiring to watch the career growth of these individuals.
Take Grace Umana, a first generation college student whose parents immigrated to the US from Honduras. She joined our team while she was a student at BHCC to knock renter’s doors in Cambridge. She was interested in environmental justice but wasn’t sure she had the skills to jump into the industry. She totally did. She advanced through several roles with us to become a Program Manager. Grace was particularly adept at building trust with residents, especially Spanish speakers, and this allowed her to engage residents in energy efficiency programs, connect them with programs to overcome utility debt, and provide critical feedback to other vendors in the industry on how to build this trust. Recently, because of her amazing work in the City of Chelsea, Grace was recruited into a higher level job with the city where she will be engaging residents and connecting them with a wider range of services to address inequities.
Grace is only one of many stories where staff and interns’ experience with us has been a launching point in their careers. I encourage you to watch our social media and read our blog to find many other incredible stories of individuals who learned valuable skills at All In Energy and who are leveraging those to make positive change within our organization and beyond.
All of this is possible thanks to incredible donors who support our work and provide us with the resources we need to create innovative new programs, empower community advocates to do successful outreach campaigns to underserved groups, support staff and interns’ professional development, and advocate for larger-scale change in how our state’s energy efficiency programs are designed and operated.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
All In Energy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to advance an inclusive clean energy economy. We bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to underserved communities, while increasing job opportunities for diverse talent in the clean energy industry.