Simple and fun ways to save energy in your home and with your neighbors
Cooperative Energy Futures is about building an engaged community of cooperative members and providing them with the tools and processes to be proactive in using, saving, generating, and thinking about energy. We want to provide many opportunities for members to take an active role engaging and supporting other members and support future growth of the cooperative and its mission. Work parties are a direct way of doing just this!
What a Work Party would look like
A weatherization work party is simple. Set a date, and get a bunch of your neighbors to join in. Have everyone identify the leaks and cracks in their windows, doors, and walls and come to the work party with a sense of what they need to fix. At the beginning of the event, a Cooperative Energy Futures staff or volunteer will provide a brief training in how to seal cracks, install window kits, and take other basic actions as well as informing everyone about other opportunities to save energy. Then, break up into teams and go house to house weatherizing the homes of those in your group. Many hands make light (and fun) work! At the end, include some fun activities such as community art or games, music, or a potluck, and have a discussion of what else you would like to do together in the neighborhood.
As a variation, host a work party with a group that’s not linked to your block, such as a place of worship, school, social organization, etc. Weatherize a common building or split up and visit several members homes.
Tools, Supplies, and Cost
We’ll help you set the date, recruit your neighbors, and plan fun activities. On your work party date, we will provide:
- Tools you can use for the day, particularly caulk guns and hair dryers (used for window plastic). You can also bring your own.
- Supplies at bulk prices: tube caulk, rope caulk, window plastic, weather-stripping, as well as non-air-sealing materials like low-flow shower-heads, efficient light-bulbs, etc. as desired. (see our product list for details).
- Training in how to seal air leaks and install window kits.
- Information about other energy-saving opportunities, including bulk-buying for insulation, solar, and more and education, home energy improvement, and financing programs provided by other organizations.
If your group has five or more Cooperative Energy Futures members, we’ll provide the training and tools for free, only charging for the supplies at our bulk, members-only prices. If you don’t have five people who want to become members, we’ll charge the group $50 plus supplies. Group participants can make their portion of the payment to the CEF staff or volunteer in cash or check during the work party. Support from your neighborhood or other sponsors are sometimes available upon request.
Note: For households in neighborhoods along Lake Street in Minneapolis, a grant from Hennepin County enables community members to host work parties for free, with $10 worth of supplies provided for free to work partygoers.
Goals of a Work Party
- To engage BOTH current CEF members and non-members in energy conservation activities
- To relay DIY information to homeowners and renters
- Apply DIY techniques that will result in energy savings, cost savings, and increased comfort in the home
- Make energy conversation a comfortable and common topic for you and your neighbors, possibly discovering common goals
Steps for organizing and facilitating a Work Party
These parties happen because members make them happen. The cooperative is successful because we work together to enrich ourselves and our communities. There is no work party that is too small or too big. Here are the easy steps to set-up a work party (Work Parties_How To PDF):
- Set a date and location for the event
- Standard event scenario – 3.5 hours
- Window kit installation event scenario – 5 hours
- Large or decentralized host site event scenario – 6-7 hours
- Create a loose plan for the event
- Call or email your invitees
*Encourage your party invitees to take photos of possible problem areas in their home before hand and bring them to the party to guide supply purchases.
- Get a yard sign from CEF for the party
- Send a reminder email
- Have the party and have fun!
Sign Up or Learn More:
Do you want to sign up now to host a weatherization work party on your block, at your community center, or place of work. Do you just want more information about the process? Please fill out the below sign-up form or call (612) 568-2334 to start one.
Just looking to work on your own home? We also offer in-home energy savings training workshops ($10) and sell products to individual households. Sign up at www.cooperativeenergyfutures.com/workshops