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Community Engagement

Background

Having gathered a team, done a baseline energy assessment and created an energy plan the next step is to get the entire community involved. Indeed, one of the first steps of the energy plan is to begin community engagement. To be effective in carrying a community plan, requires a diverse team at each step of the way. As the plan is presented to the community it is also crucial that equity considerations be thoroughly considered.

Getting Started

If you haven’t done so already, make sure all key stakeholders have seen and provided input into your energy plan. These should include:

  • Town officials (e.g., First Selectmen, Mayor, Town Manager, Director of Public Works, Energy Manager, etc.),
  • Board of Education,
  • Schools, parent-teacher organizations,
  • Residents,
  • Neighborhood organizations,
  • Businesses, business groups,
  • Utility representatives,
  • Religious organizations

Discussions with these groups will not only improve the plan, but they will uncover diverse and original ways to carry it out. And, along the way, you will identify champions to carry different initiatives forward.

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Checklist

  • Identify key stakeholders in your community, and determine the best way to engage each of them.
  • As a plan is developed, intermediate approvals are useful. For example a Clean Energy Task Force approval is a valuable stepping stone to larger community adoption.
  • After revising the plan based on input from the community, ask your town officials (i.e., Town Council, Board of Selectmen) to approve it. An official vote and/or resolution of support will be invaluable as you implement the plan.
  • Reach out to Sierra Club Connecticut and consider joining their Ready for 100 Campaign.
  • Carry out your own combination of activities (e.g., workshops, energy fairs, surveys, social networking, public displays, informational campaigns, etc.).
  • Conduct each activity through the equity lens.

Resources

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