Local Youth Help Marin County Go Green with Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, and Tree-Planting

Across Marin County this summer, Rising Sun Energy Center’s (Rising Sun) California Youth Energy Services (CYES) program provided 250 local homes with a Green House Call: an energy assessment, education, and mini-retrofit – all at no cost. In just six weeks, 2,029 incandescent light bulbs and 124 inefficient sink aerators and showerheads were swapped for energy efficient CFLs and water-saving measures in local Marin County homes. This is the 8th year that Rising Sun has partnered with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the County of Marin, as well as Marin Municipal Water District and North Marin Water District, to run the CYES program in Marin County. 

This year, the team of eight youth Energy Specialists and their managers wanted to take “green” to another level. On the last day of the program, the team planted a California Live Oak sapling at the Terra Linda Community Center, to provide additional carbon offset and to give back to the community. The tree took on the name of the team, Marin-C, and was planted as a testament to the success of the summer program in Marin. 

Starting in early September this year, CYES will continue its work in Marin County with an after-school employment program providing more Green House Calls to local residents. We encourage residents, both renters and owners, to take advantage of this limited-time, no-cost service and sign up today by calling 510-665-1501 x10. 

For more information on Rising Sun Energy Center, please visit www.risingsunenergy.org

 California consumers are not obligated to purchase any full fee service or other service not funded by this program. This program is funded by California utility ratepayers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

 Los consumidores en California no están obligados a comprar servicios completes o adicionales que no esten cubiertos bajo este Programa. Este Programa está financiado por los usuarios de servicios públicos en California bajo la jurisdicción de la Comisión de Servicios Públicos de California (CPUC). 

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Slowing Down to Enjoy Success in Dublin and Pleasanton

Dublin                                                                                                                                                  Jason Spooner, Leader-in-Field-Training

Two Dublin ESs show off the CFLs!

Rebecca and Sruthi, ESs show off the CFLs!

So far, this has been the most relaxing week for the Dublin site. A few people have been absent from work, so we decided to lighten up the schedule for a few days. This has given us a chance to catch up on organizing our office and further train the Energy Specialists on calling clients and booking FREE Green House Call appointments. Most importantly, this was the first time all summer we got a chance to slow things down and bond as a site.

Marie, our Site Outreach Manager attended a neighborhood watch meeting booked by our City of Dublin contacts, Martha Aja and Kathy Southern. It turned out to be our most successful outreach event this year. Every member of the community was enthusiastic about the service and she ended up with about 20 clients signing up! Other that that, we have had a very entertaining week here in Dublin. Every day we are climbing closer to our goals, and I am pleased with the way things are going. Check us out on the City of Dublin Website!

Pleasanton                                                                                                                                  Deepak Singh, Leader-in-Field Training

Things are going smoothly in Pleasanton. We changed our teams in the beginning of the week to switch things around and to let everyone experience working with a different partner. We are installing a lot of measures at each house we serve. Even though we are only half way through our program, we have already surpassed our goal for the 15W floods lights. We just started door-to-door canvassing in Pleasanton, and I noticed that we needed a little more practice on our pitch. So for the professional development this week, we worked on elevator pitching the program for signups and Adrian, the Community Outreach Manager was nice enough to come and help us with it. The week ended on a high note as we had a full schedule for Friday and things looked great for Tuesday as well. We still want to serve lots more houses in Pleasanton though, and only have 2 weeks left! If you’re interested, sign up here: http://www.tinyurl.com/ghcinfo.

Adrian and the Pleasanton ESs work on their canvassing pitches.

Adrian and the Pleasanton ESs work on their canvassing pitches.

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Moving Forward in Fremont and Union City

Fremont                                                                                                                                              Geron Stevens, Leader-in-Field-Training

This week in Fremont, we started the week off slowly and carefully with an entirely redesigned system to help us work more efficiently. The ES teams swapped partners and adjusted to the new efficient system as effectively as possible. Professional development Fridays are going extremely well with all the ESs. So far, I’ve taught them about effective communication and self-development, as well as branding oneself in order to determine your target audience. I’ve asked each ES what they are interested in learning about on Fridays, and the best answer I heard was more information about our non-profit organization, Rising Sun Energy Center as a whole. Furthermore, I think this site is moving forward each and every day, taking in all sorts of new information as well as new professional skills. For example, the other day we gave a Green House Call to a Fremont Council Member’s home, so the ESs worked even harder to deliver their message as clearly and as effectively as possible.

The ESs at Fremont Council Member Suzanne Chan's home. Courtesy of Suzanne Chan's facebook page!

The ESs at Fremont Council Member Suzanne Chan’s home. Courtesy of Suzanne Chan’s facebook page!

Union City                                                                                                                                     Yuni Salas-Linares, Leader-in-Field-Training

This week in Union City, we performed more than 100 Green House Calls and we are well on our way to reaching 150 houses served per week! Although it was our roughest week yet, we still managed to pull together and overcome the obstacles we faced. Since our outreach manager left early one day, and we had some absent ESs throughout the week, our site persevered until our teammates returned. We are at the halfway point and after finishing this week strong, I think we can continue to face any challenges that face us.

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Developing Skills in Marin and Antioch

Marin County

Chris Luther, Leader-in-Field-Training

Over in Marin things are happening at a quick pace. Our Energy Specialists are working faster than ever getting Green House Calls done at a blistering speed. My management is working hard to get enough appointments for them to do during the day because they are so quick.

I am embracing my mentorship role as the Marin LIFT. This week in professional development I taught our youth about résumé writing. It was a challenge to have a lesson planned for a range of résumés. It was exciting to help some of our youth develop and create their first resume. Marin has definitely got the hustle.

Some of the Marin crew at an outreach event!

Some of the Marin crew at an outreach event!


Billy Spivey, Leader-in-Field-Training

This week, I was able to learn from what Community Outreach Manager Adrian facilitated on determining our personal brand and applied that to teaching the ESs later in the week about interviewing for jobs. It was difficult at first because I do not normally think about what people think of me when they see me, nor do I take time to consider what kind of image I am portraying to those in my environment, so the insight I gained really helped me to aid the the ESs in polishing their skills when the time comes to interview for challenging positions.

Meanwhile, the Energy Specialists have been getting much better at keeping track of their installations. Moreover, they have serviced a wide array of clients in terms of demographics – from the 5 bedroom homes off of Canada Valley to the small 2 bedroom apartments off of Wilbur Ave across the freeway and both high-income and low-income families alike.

In other LIFT news, we’ve been working on securing donations for the barbecue at the end of the program. Communication plays a key role in our success because we encourage each other in the email updates and feedback that we send each other. I’ve been out to more than ten businesses to solicit donations for our barbeque, including Target, Walmart, Chili’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings. I feel confident that they will be able to contribute after speaking with the managers on the phone. Hopefully the amount of donations I receive for this year will exceed my total from last year.

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Racking up Successes in Berkeley, Emeryville and Richmond

Berkeley/Emeryville                                                                                                                    Rosie Nketiah, Leader-in-Field-Training

ESs Marie and Sophie,  Council member Laurie Capitelli, ESs Melina and Arturo and Vice mayor Linda Maio  pose at the Air Dry for the Environment event

ESs Marie and Sophie, Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, ESs Melina and Arturo, and Vice Mayor Linda Maio pose at the Air Dry for the Environment event

This week at the Berkeley/Emeryville site, our team participated in Rising Sun’s first EVER Air Dry for the Environment event, held at MLK Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley!  In addition to Rising Sun’s interns running and contributing to the event, all partakers lent a hand in setting up the clothesline, hanging the clothes, and more. Berkeley Vice Mayor Linda Maio, Berkeley City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, and Executive Director of Rising Sun, Jodi Pincus, gave speeches explaining the benefits of air drying clothing and promoting energy sustainability in the local community through programs, such as California Youth Energy Services (CYES). Two of our Energy Specialists gave brief accounts of their experience working under CYES and how “going green” impacted their lives, while others engaged in local media interviews and expressed similar standpoints. Overall, Air Dry for the Environment was a success and allowed our site to take outreach and networking to another level. Berkeley/Emeryville is still going strong and looking forward to serving the community in any way possible.

Richmond                                                                                                                                           Phon Chanthansasak, Leader-in-Field-Training

Manager David and ESs Verbin and Souriya review paperwork

Manager David and ESs Verbin and Souriya review paperwork

This week in Richmond, our ESs serviced a total of 111 houses. Our teams are doing  a great job educating the clients and making sure their homes are energy efficient.

Each week we have our team goals; last week it was to install as many CFLs as possible. The record-holding team for our site installed 65 CFLs in one house, while another installed 52 CFLs at one site!

This week has been really busy. I was out in the field taking over for one of our ESs most of the time. When not in the field doing GHCs, I was out giving donation request letters to local businesses for the CYES barbecue at the end of the summer. It was a nerve racking experience in the beginning, but after a few tries, I think I am getting the hang of it! Hopefully I will hear back from the businesses soon.

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Smooth Sailing and Cool Cucumbers in Hayward and Oakland


Tiffany Haynes, Leader-in-Field-Training

LIFTTiffany_0773This has been a smooth sailing week! The new changes made to our inventory system and the wonderful development day, during which we bonded was very beneficial for the productivity of our site. Mornings, as well as evenings have been great with plenty of time to get prepared or further smooth out any kinks. The Hayward Heats are on FIRE, leaving behind a BLAZING trail straight to an energy efficient City of Hayward! Many of our clients recommend that all of their friends and family members should take advantage of this service. The clients who are so impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of the ESs that they give back referral sheets completely filled out, sometimes even using the back of the sheet to write more! With such energetic, outgoing, and capable ESs, servicing and outreach have been a breeze.

I am very pleased with the wonderful can-do co-workers I have here in Hayward. Here nothing is impossible; when faced with adversity we do not see roadblocks, only fun competitive obstacles. Everyone here has grown so much from the first day that we started. We learned from our weak points and used the experiences to become better professionals. With four more weeks left I am sure we will gain new experiences to learn from that will help us accomplish GREATNESS. The vision of making a POSITIVE impact is very REAL here, and that is the mission to be completed.

Oakland                                                                                                                                              Julian Davlin, Leader-in-Field-Training


An Energy Specialist provide free and easy tips to help a client save more energy, water and money on bills!

This week in Oakland we were able to service some of the biggest houses our site has seen this summer with our Free Green House Calls.  I had to go out to appointments to drop off extra measures several times because our Energy Specialists (ESs) installed more than 20 light bulbs in a single house! These big houses proved to be no problem for our skilled ESs who finished the calls quickly, efficiently, and without any incident. Lastly, during our Friday professional development session, our Energy Specialists shared techniques used for going into a job interview with confidence and purpose. Overall it was another very successful week. We are looking forward to another full week of Green House Calls! You can sign up for and learn more about our FREE energy assessment and FREE efficient hardware installation here: http://www.tinyurl.com/ghcinfo.

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Reaching out with Outreach at Dublin and Pleasanton!

Dublin                                                                                                                                                      Jason Spooner, Leader-in-Field-Training

The Dublin Site has had another great week of Green House Calls! Our Energy Specialist groups seem to be refining their style and are becoming more time efficient with each passing day. Our Site Manager, John, has been buried in the paperwork from the GHCs that our Outreach Manager, Marie, has been tirelessly filling by finding new clients! For this week’s professional development lesson, we practiced giving elevator pitches in a variety of scenarios. Every ES took their turn as a potential client or a canvassing member of CYES, while the rest of the site provided feedback on their reactions.

On Thursday, I accompanied a few ESes outside of the community pool next to Dublin High School and at the home improvement store. We got a few signups and learned a lesson in outreach, so it was a successful outing. As hectic as it is, I am having a great time being a LIFT. Stay tuned for next weeks update on the Dublin Site!

Pleasanton                                                                                                                                  Deepak Singh, Leader-in-Field Training

Praying on Prince for more GHCs!

Praying on Prince for more GHCs!

This week in Pleasanton, our Energy Specialists had a great time while doing the Green House Calls. Even though we had few cancellations this week, we are still installing a lot of measures in all the houses we go to. During the free time from cancellations, our Energy Specialists are going out to public places, such as library, grocery stores, etc. to canvass and this is really helpful as we are getting a lot of referrals from these places. We also learned this week that we can canvass door to door now in Pleasanton and this was really helpful. Even though many people didn’t open their doors, we were still able to get quite a few contacts to call to schedule appointments. On Friday, we had couple more cancellations, which gave the Energy Specialists more time for canvassing and one of our team made an appointment right on the spot. The week did not end as we hoped it would, but we have high hopes for next week.



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