Community Housing Partners Announces Launch of the Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2)Posted on Dec 5th, 2011
Christiansburg, Virginia – Area homeowners in southwest Virginia will be able to dramatically improve their homes’ energy efficiency thanks to the newly-created Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2). Christiansburg-based Community Housing Partners (CHP) formed cafe2 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings initiative, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.
cafe2 is a nonprofit community program and one-stop shop for what to do, who to call, and how to pay for home energy upgrades. The organization was established earlier this year to lead a community-based energy efficiency home improvement program with the City of Roanoke and Town of Blacksburg. As the community’s center for energy efficiency information, cafe2’s mission is to promote energy and cost savings, local economic development, and environmental stewardship. The alliance does this by providing educational programs for homeowners, pre-qualifying and certifying home energy assessors and contractors, performing third-party quality assurance for energy improvement measures, and promoting available financial incentive programs to pay for energy upgrades.
“Blacksburg and Roanoke have shown outstanding leadership in adopting energy efficiency practices, but in order for us to create a sustainable community, that commitment needs to extend to the people who live in that community,” said Gregg Lewis, director of cafe2.
Research regarding the impact of installing ENERGY STAR® appliances suggests, on average, Americans can save up to 30 percent or $600 a year with simple energy efficiency upgrades. And the savings aren’t just short-term. They keep compounding the longer a person stays in his or her home. On top of that, there are tax incentives and rebates to help finance these improvements.
“But even with all this, families still aren’t taking advantage of these energy efficiency improvements,” Lewis commented. “Some people think it’s too expensive, too confusing or they won’t get enough return on their investment. That’s where cafe2 comes in. We can walk homeowners through all the steps involved in saving energy, reducing costs, and improving the health and safety of their homes through easy and affordable energy upgrades.”
To be eligible to participate in the cafe2 program, homeowners must be willing to provide access to their prior 12 months and subsequent 36 months of utility bills and must agree to have cafe2 provide the required quality assurance review of all work conducted through the program.
For more information about the program, contact Gregg Lewis at 540.260.3494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Gregg Lewis:
Gregg Lewis joined CHP in 2011 as director of the Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2). Lewis is responsible for cafe2's program design, budgeting, development, marketing, and advocacy and outreach efforts related to the alliance’s initial and ongoing successes.
He was one of Virginia's first LEED Accredited Professionals and a leader in the effort to form the southwest Virginia U.S. Green Building Chapter. Lewis was also a founding board member of a regional climate-change nonprofit organization working with government and business leaders to develop strategies to mitigate risks associated with climate change.
In addition, Lewis orchestrated the internationally acclaimed C2C Home Competition in 2004 where more than 1,000 architects from 41 countries and teams from 88 universities worldwide participated in the project. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.
Lewis has his Masters of Architecture from Yale University and recently completed his MBA through the Executive Program at the Wake Forest University School of Business where his studies focused on sustainability economics, the intersection of public policy and business, and global strategic business management.