Harvey Mudd College will be hosting Claremont Energy Vision, a convening sponsored jointly by Toward Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv), the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP, Inc.), the Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design, and the Environmental Analysis (EA) Program at Pomona College. The event will be taking place on Thursday, April 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. PT in the auditorium of the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching & Learning.
Together, we will explore the city-wide strategy that Claremont is currently deploying to drive its energy use toward net zero. We will focus on an upcoming project, Claremont Locally Grown Power, which proposes to create a local non-profit solar manufacturing facility to make and install solar systems on 6,000 Claremont homes ― designed to be replicable in other cities. The evening will explore the role of city government, the Claremont Colleges, and local businesses and nonprofits.
It will highlight major advances in sustainable energy and sustainable economics, using this Local Government Engagement Model from CHERP as a case study. (See below for further details about the project). At the local level, the convening will highlight the power of local community organizations who are strategically engaged in accomplishing environmental goals, as well as opportunities for students of the Claremont Colleges to develop research projects and internships connected with the model. At the regional and national levels, different speakers will explore how the project may be scalable across California, how it may provide a model for similar initiatives in other sectors, and how major structural changes of this type are a part of the broader transformation toward a sustainable society.
For local participants, the event will be held in the Shanahan Center at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont. We will also have an online system for distance viewing through videoconference software; details will be made available as soon as possible. Because the evening itself will be fast-paced, we will be providing short video interviews with invited speakers and other supplemental materials on our website and social media page (links to follow) prior to the convening.
The convening event will draw the attention of Claremont City government, regional leaders from around the state and the nation, students and faculty at the five Claremont Colleges, and specialists in a variety of fields. We hope that you can take part in this strategic conversation about how Local Governments can make a difference in our ambitious, state climate action goals, and efforts toward becoming an ecological civilization.
- Sam Pedroza (Mayor, City of Claremont)
- Tom Stallard (Council Member, City of Woodland)
- Ely Jacobsohn (US Department of Energy)
- Charley Cormany (Executive Director, Efficiency First California)
- Wendy James (CEO, The Better World Group)
- Conrad Asper (Program Manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Company)
- Kate Meis (Executive Director, The Local Government Commission)
- Eugene B. Shirley, Jr. (Founding President and CEO, Pando Populus)
- Andy Shrader (Director of Environmental Affairs, Water Policy & Sustainability, City of Los Angeles)
- John B. Cobb, Jr. (Board Member, Toward Ecological Civilization and Pando Populus)
- Karin Burns (Executive Director, Build It Green)
- Sal Alfano (Editor, Professional Remodeler)
- Olivia Schneble (HMC-’17, CHERP Intern – Manufacturing Committee CLGP)
- Philip Clayton (President, Toward Ecological Civilization)
- Wm. Andrew Schwartz (Executive Vice President, Toward Ecological Civilization)
- Devon Hartman (President and Executive Director, Community Home Energy Retrofit Project)
- Tanja Srebotnjak (Inaugural Director, Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design)
- Bob Knight (Founder, Bevilacqua-Knight, Inc.)
Background and Details of CHERP Engagement Model
Although the scope of the event is much broader – that of envisioning an ecological society, the CHERP Local Government Engagement Model will form the central case study. CHERP refers to the Community Homes Energy Retrofit Project, which has created a suite of initiatives designed to implement energy efficiency projects across an entire city. Its goals are to educate local governments and communities in the power and benefits of energy efficiency and to provide the tools and resources necessary for cities to achieve significant reductions in GHG and maximize the many related benefits.
Claremont, California is CHERP’s founding city and its “test-kitchen” for pilot studies. Along with its strategic partners, the City of Claremont and Sustainable Claremont, CHERP created the Claremont Energy Challenge through which it can deploy its suite of initiatives and engage the whole city in the experiment of capturing all possible benefits from energy efficiency. Benefits to the community range from economic stimulus, job creation, GHG reduction, property value increase, and environmental justice, to improved health, cost savings, and quality of life for all its citizens. All of CHERP’s initiatives are designed to be scalable and replicable in other cities and CHERP is currently forming Core Energy Leadership Groups in cities throughout California.
CHERP has simplified the sometimes-confusing array of energy decisions by creating the “Roadmap to Net Zero” for building owners which includes three steps: Easy Energy (i.e. LED light bulbs, behavior, appliances, plug strips, energy monitoring), Building Retrofits (i.e. air sealing, insulation, HVAC system design), and Solar PV for renewable energy generation.
To provide renewable energy, CHERP’s capstone initiative is to create a local, PV panel manufacturing facility called Claremont Locally Grown Power (CLGP). CLGP will employ new, patented technologies which dramatically simplify panel assembly and reduce costs. This will be coupled with a non-profit business model that employs local labor (bringing back middle class manufacturing jobs) and focuses on serving Low-to-Middle Income (LMI) households first which will increase local, disposable income by $6.5 Million per year. In these ways CLGP aims to modify the current investor/profit-based model of selling solar while stimulating the local economy, cutting GHG, and addressing environmental justice issues at the same time.