The Detroit Youth Energy Squad empowers young people to make homes more energy efficient and pursue successful careers in the green economy.
What We Do: We work toward this mission by training students how to do play two important roles: 1) Energy coach and 2) Energy-efficiency retro fitter. As retro fitters, crews install programmable thermostats and low-flow shower heads, insulate hot water pipes, and seal air drafts with caulk, weatherstripping, and reusable storm window kits. As coaches, crew members learn to teach residents how to understand their energy bills, use their appliances more efficiently, and continue to practice energy conservation behaviors, like lowering the temperature at night and making sure televisions aren't left on when no one is watching. The majority of households we serve are people that benefit from physical assistance with installations.
Why We Do It: Energy efficiency benefits our pocketbooks and our planet while creating much needed green jobs. Changing showerheads and keeping a cold air from coming through the doors and windows may not sound like much, but it can make a big difference in people's lives. Households we serve spend about $2,500 per year on energy costs, and some spend upwards of $5,000! These costs can eat up to 25% of the household's budget and lead to foreclosures and an inability to pay for health care, nutritious food, and other basic necessities. So far, households have seen annual savings averaging 14%, or $350, following a D-YES home visit, but some are saving as much as 30%! At the same time, using less electricity also means less air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use. Lastly, the experience equips youth with valuable communication, leadership, and professional skills that will help them succeed academically or in the workforce.
PARTNERS Voices for Earth Justice began D-YES in 2008, with the assistance of WARM Training, Detroit, a leader in energy efficiency training in Michigan. In 2010, D-YES transitioned to WARM training, where the program continues to grow in service to young people and the community.