Natalie Reeder reflects on her role at All In Energy supporting underserved communities to access Mass Save programs.
It often felt frustrating to hear challenge after challenge associated with Mass Save, and feel like so many of the barriers were systemic and far beyond my or All In Energy’s ability to fix. But as the first two years of CFP are coming to a close, I have witnessed many small changes, and even some large ones like the program sponsors approving a new pathway for Low Income residents to access the programs.
In the past few months, All In has taken a great effort to compile all of the feedback we have been gathering and summarize it into a list of recommendations for the 2025-2028 iteration of Mass Save. Those same roadblocks that I spent significant time documenting became an integral part of a report going directly to the people that have power over the Mass Save programs.
Even when we’re not gathering direct feedback, we’re always thinking about what work we can do to help achieve our vision of a world with an inclusive clean energy economy. We’re committed to doing this even when it makes our work harder.
For instance, the goals set for CFP by the Program Sponsors were only focused on increasing overall participation in Mass Save programs. As the lead vendor we could have done the easy thing and just helped the communities do broad outreach, meeting the expectations of the program sponsors and continuing our funding.
But we knew the most likely outcome of that approach would be the status quo, resulting in continued inequity. So instead, we have held ourselves and the communities we work with to a higher standard, asking them not only to be accountable to the program sponsors goals, but also to be accountable to the mission of CFP by thoughtfully building partnerships and targeting campaigns toward the people that have historically been underserved.
I love getting to be a part of an organization that is willing to both challenge the status quo, and ask others to do the same. It feels so powerful to see the challenges and feedback my communities shared actually go somewhere.
I also know that as much as we are trying to bring about equitable change in the programs we work on, we have to continually do DEI work internally as well because we always have room for growth.
That's why I'm really excited about our plans for this year. One of the recommendations we made to the Program Sponsors was for Mass Save to hire a DEI consultant to support our work and the work of the communities involved in the CFP program. Recognizing that we are being tasked to send people into vulnerable communities that might have different identities, experiences, or languages, we know that we have a duty to make sure that anyone doing outreach work is going to hold DEI best practices behind all they do.
It is our responsibility to be a steward of the relationships we are asking people to build in marginalized communities and I can’t wait to continue learning how to better do that with the support of more resources and expertise. I also can’t wait to see my role change and grow as we continue defining ways to better achieve our mission.
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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.