Posts filed under ‘Fundraising’

Celebration of 5 Years of Clean Energy Durham Volunteers Energizes Community

LOVE

More than 135 volunteers and other Durham residents came together for an afternoon of recognition, energy quizzes and games, fabulous Durham delectables, bike blender smoothies and prizes to celebrate five years of Clean Energy Durham volunteers.

In five years, over 300 volunteers have taught their neighbors and shared hands-on energy savings knowledge to over 2,000 homes in neighborhoods throughout Durham.  While Clean Energy Durham designed the model, it is the terrific, community-minded, caring people of Durham who made this happen and continue to do so.

-Judy Kincaid, Executive Director

At the event, which was held at at BuildSense, a downtown Durham certified green design, construction, and renovation firm, awards and gifts were given to twelve volunteers for their special contributions:

  • BILL TRIPLETT was awarded the ENERGY MENTOR AWARD
  • DIANA PERONIS was awarded the SUPER SUPER TRAINER AWARD
  • KAREN ANDERSON was awarded the ALMOST FULL-TIME VOLUNTEER AWARD
  • CATHY STARKWEATHER was awarded the CREATIVE NEIGHBORHOOD LEADER award
  • MELVIN WHITLEY was awarded the LEADERSHIP MENTOR award
  • NINNA GAGNON was awarded the BICYCLE MENTOR award
  • IRIS FISHER was awarded the NEIGHBORHOOD LEADER’S LEADER award
  • MARK MUNDAY was awarded the SUPER SUPPORTER AWARD
  • MATT GREENWOLFE, JOY GREENWOLFE, JIM GUDAITIS and ED COX were awarded the CLEAN ENERGY DURHAM FOUNDATION award for creating and being a member of the original group that eventually grew into Clean Energy Durham.

Tribute was also paid to Judy Kincaid, acknowledging her long-standing contributions to Durham and to helping Durham residents achieve energy savings.  She is retiring at the end of 2012.

Sponsors of the event included the following:  Mark Munday; BuildSense; The Herald Sun; Durham Catering; Judy Whisnant, Attorney At Law; Chuck and Jean Wilson; B & J Custom Printers; Common Ground Green Building Center; Craig and Patti Morrison; Steve Schewel and Lao Rubert; Reyn Bowman; Mike Freemark and Anne Slifkin; Clear Vue Glass; Jenny Warburg; Green Horizon; Southern Energy Management; and Rep. Paul Luebke and Carol Gallione.

See our media coverage on WUNC 91.5

November 30, 2012 at 8:09 am Leave a comment

Love Our Volunteers Event

Join us in celebrating and recognizing five years of Clean Energy Durham volunteers this Sunday, November 18th, from 3-5 pm at Clean Energy Durham’s Love Our Volunteers EventBuildSense/Studio B Architecture at 502 Rigsbee Avenue in Durham!  Free to invited Clean Energy Durham volunteers, and just $10 for everyone else. Admission includes fabulous food & drink and a raffle ticket for great prizes like gift certificates to local restaurants.  There will be silent auction items, bike blender smoothies, games, awards, and fun for the whole family.

November 13, 2012 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

Is the Climate Getting Warmer or Is It Just Hot Yoga?

If you have ever wanted to try a hot yoga class, now is the opportunity to try it and also benefit Clean Energy Durham.  Join me at Bikram Yogo Studio at Golden Belt (807 E. Main St.) for a beginner’s hot yoga class at 4:00 pm on Friday, April 20 at no fee.  It’s a “Karma Yoga” class, where you make a donation (suggested is $10) and all donations for this class go to Clean Energy Durham.

What is Bikram hot yoga?  It is a 90-minute sequence of 26 Hatha yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises practiced in a heated room to stretch and strengthen every muscle, tendon, ligament, gland, joint, and organ in the body. The room is heated to 105°F to promote deep stretching, rapid detoxification, and increased heart rate for a cardiovascular workout.

For more information see www.bikramdurham.com.

Judy

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April 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Meet Tim Gasper of Brady Trane

As a solutions engineer for Brady Trane, Tim Gasper’s job is to track down energy inefficiency in large institutional and commercial buildings.  For nearly 3 decades, he’s been delivering energy efficiency projects that save millions of dollars and millions of pounds of carbon from fouling the atmosphere.

The work has not always gotten the attention it deserves, until recently.   “I have been wearing the same tie for over 27 years,” he jokes.  “Suddenly it’s fashionable.”

Large-scale building retrofits can result in astonishing energy savings. Brady Trane’s retrofit of UNCW, which Gasper spearheaded, has saved that university over $300,000 a year.  Similar work at UNCG has resulted in savings of $525,000 a year.  The NC Museum of Art, another Brady Trane project, slashed its energy bill by $500,000 per year, a savings of 60%, and recently won a national award from ASHRAE, a leading industry organization.

North Carolina has maintained its AAA credit rating, and as such has been able to finance numerous large-scale efficiency projects at public institutions.  But Gasper realizes in the current economy, it is a lot harder for homeowners to find the financing from banks to pay for efficiency upgrades.

(more…)

March 28, 2012 at 8:09 am Leave a comment

Meet Duane Smith

Duane Smith insulates homes.  Or, as he puts it, he helps people keep their same comfort level while lowering their heating and cooling bills.  City dwellers are often spurred to think sustainably because nature is already in short supply around them.  For Smith, a native of Louisburg, North Carolina, the motivating force was the opposite. Close contact with nature growing up shaped his views about the importance of conservation.  “Things keep changing and changing,” he says. “But if things change too much, we will adversely affect the environment.”

Smith Insulation is a family business, making it sustainable in another way.  Duane’s father, Tommy, started the business when he was 18 years old.  At the time, homes were intentionally built a little leaky.  A little air flow between the interior and exterior of the home was considered necessary for comfort.  There were also no code requirements for insulation, so few homeowners bothered with the extra expense and complication.  Today’s insulating technology has evolved by leaps and bounds.  Homeowners have a range of options to choose from, and air sealing stops uncontrolled leaks, those energy holes once considered a normal and necessary part of home construction.  “A home has to be treated like a complete system,” Smith says.  To attract business, Smith Insulation is constantly researching the latest technologies—insulation bats, spray foams, and fi-foil to name a few.

Smith Insulation was inspired to become a 2030 Society Founder because of its involvement in the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program.  This program has a goal of making 700 Durham homes more energy-efficient at a very low cost to the homeowners, with Clean Energy Durham training and organizing neighborhood volunteers to promote the program and do basic energy education, plus Smith Insulation and two other contractors providing the professional home improvement work under the supervision of the City of Durham.

2030 Society members have pledged multi-year support and recognize Clean Energy Durham as a community leader helping the city and county reach their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030.



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March 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Meet Chris McKeel

Compared to renters, owners have the luxury of being able to invest in their properties and can reap the benefits long-term.  In practice though, owners don’t commonly invest in energy efficiency, even though it offers better returns on investment than just about any other home improvement.

“Most homeowners don’t think they can afford efficiency upgrades,” says Chris McKeel, owner of Durham-based Apple Realty.  “From a homeowner’s perspective, they are expenditures that compete with other financial demands.”

The rationale is different for investors, says McKeel, who manages 350 different rental homes around Duke University.

“When I make the case [for energy efficiency investments such as an energy-efficient heat pump], I have the numbers to back it up.”

McKeel has seen utility bills drop from over $200 a month to less than $100 as a result of investments in energy efficiency.

And when renters pay less for utilities, they rent for longer.  That means owners keep their properties rented more of the time. In some cases, they’re even able to increase the rent as a result of lower-than-average utility costs.

In the real estate business, builders tend to shy away from new processes and equipment.  But by making energy efficiency a priority in his business, McKeel has been able to develop a network of contractors comfortable with the latest methods and products.

As a man of faith, McKeel heeds the words of Genesis that call for human beings to be good stewards of the Earth.

“I can impact these owners and these tenants.  I can’t go from neighborhood to neighborhood and try to elevate the conversation like Clean Energy Durham does,” McKeel says.  He views his support for Clean Energy Durham’s neighborhood program as fitting in perfectly with his values.

2030 Society members have pledged multi-year support and recognize Clean Energy Durham as a community leader helping the city and county reach their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030.

–Profile by Clean Energy Durham Volunteer Thibault Worth

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January 17, 2012 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

Meet John Pearce

Former Duke University architect John Pearce, Jr. may have retired last year, but he’s still juggling a busy schedule.

Long before the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building standard evolved into the eco-chic badge it is today, Pearce was thinking about sustainability and drawing up master plans for the university.

“We didn’t do projects for the short-haul like developers,” says the 72-year-old who took the top architectural job at Duke in 1992.  “We did them for the long haul.”

As a Yale architecture student 50 years ago, Pearce was trained to see a building not as an independent work of art, but as an integral part of its natural surroundings.  It should take advantage of the wind and harness the sun, he was taught.

As a young man, he traveled to Iran, India and Japan, studying wind patterns, natural cooling methods, and the importance of water in people’s lives.

But it wasn’t until the second half of his career that Pearce started integrating energy efficiency deeply into his work.  As the ski industry came of age in the late 1960s, Pearce had the opportunity to design a number of houses in Colorado that tapped geothermal power, and incorporated new energy efficiency technologies.

As an architect, Pearce tends to frame sustainability in aesthetic terms.  On solar panels, he waxes poetically about how they create a graceful linkage between a building and the sun.  An architect using panels must think of a building’s orientation and how energy will be transferred to and used by the inhabitants.

Giving to Clean Energy Durham as a 2030 Society Founder is Pearce’s way of tipping his hat to practical, community-based energy savings—what he calls “the Durham piece” of his legacy at Duke University.

2030 Society members have pledged multi-year support and recognize Clean Energy Durham as a community leader helping the city and county reach their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030.

–Profile by Clean Energy Durham Volunteer Thibault Worth

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December 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

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