Friday, November 04, 2011

Hawthorne Receives Community Energy Services Award!

Post by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director.  Photo and quoted items from the Center for Energy and Environment.

From CEE:

Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Awarded a $2,500 Grant! 

The Hawthorne Neighborhood Council (HNC) was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Center for Energy and Environment and the McKnight Foundation on Tuesday, October 25th, for placing 10th in the participation grant challenge, with 8.26% of eligible properties completing a home energy visit through Community Energy Services (CES).  HNC Housing Director Jeff Skrenes was on hand to accept the award.  The award was presented at the Community Energy Services Award Ceremony where partnering neighborhood organizations and volunteers were awarded over $45,000 in grants for their work with CES.  
Since spring of 2010, HNC has been a partner in the Community Energy Services program, providing over 40 home visits that have helped homeowners’ save energy and money in their homes.  CES is still available in Hawthorne and throughout Minneapolis, with now being a great time to participate and prepare your home for winter.  Please visit for a list of upcoming presentations where you can learn how to save energy and money in your home and sign up for the home energy visit for $30.

Come join over 4,000 Minneapolis homeowners already participating.  For more information about Community Energy Services or to view a list of Community Energy Service Award Recipients, visit or call (612) 219-7334.

From Jeff Skrenes:

This award was especially meaningful because many of the other recipients were from areas of the city with much higher rates of home ownership.  The outreach and organizing efforts from Hawthorne community leaders and staff, and the strong partnership between Hawthorne and CEE, are exemplified in the success of this program. 

Furthermore, one of the refrains we heard from our community after the home energy visits was that the basic services were helpful but access to funds that would help with bigger-ticket items like a furnace or boiler was still quite limited.  In response to that concern, Hawthorne created a green rehab loan product.  Property owners in Hawthorne can apply for up to $4,500 in assistance with home repairs that line up with Minnesota Green Communities guidelines.  The assistance is a lien against the property, but has no interest or monthly payment and is forgivable over time.  Contact Brenda Yaritz at CEE for more information or to apply.