Hoquiam SRS Summit Teaches Energy Resilience

May 31, 2024

The Upshot

CEL hosted a Smart and Resilient Schools (SRS) Summit at its pilot program site in Hoquiam, Washington, on April 27. 25 individuals from the community attended alongside leaders from Bonneville Environmental Foundation and two local school districts.

Hoquiam SRS Summit Attendees Learn About Energy Resilience

CEL held the April SRS Summit in conjunction with Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Clean Energy, Bright Futures program, Hoquiam School District, and Aberdeen School District. Attendees at CEL's SRS Summit included teachers, facilities professionals, administrators, board members, community leaders, and policymakers from the local community. They gave an entire Saturday to participate in interactive learning about energy use, waste, pricing, policy, and how we can ready our buildings and students for what's ahead.

The SRS Summit took a deep dive into the many facets of these issues and where building operations fit. Through hands-on activities, they developed an understanding of the many layers of the emissions reduction onion. They also became aware of the tools and pathways available now and in the future for building decarbonization.

"This was all brand new to me. I’ve never really thought about this stuff, how much old buildings use. We're wasting a lot.”
— Darcy, a teacher who participated in the recent SRS Summit in Hoquiam, WA.

Many attendees told us they had never thought about the grid or buildings or how they interact. With each new topic and idea, they engaged one another, debated, and found ways to understand their and their community's relationship to the massive shifts happening around energy at the moment. Feedback from attendees indicates that we achieved our goal of helping participants better understand:

  • The ways in which they consume energy in their daily lives
  • How different energy sources power commercial buildings
  • How to use less energy, save on demand charges, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • How they can help shape the way buildings consume and use clean energy
Special Guests Make An Appearance

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee sent a heartfelt video of support for the two school districts, which you can view here. State Representative Steve Tharinger joined the Summit remotely to connect with constituents. He also brought attention to other changes happening at the state level around energy supply and management. We appreciate their recognition of these schools' efforts and their help in riding the gap between state governance and local needs!

What's Next?

CEL plans to apply for a Renew America's Schools grant on behalf of  Hoquiam and Aberdeen School Districts. The grant, if received, will help these rural districts continue to save money and time while reducing their emissions.

Thank You

To the generous people of the gorgeous State of Washington, you are the future! The SRS Summit proved that communities are the most fertile soil for progress and change. The path forward in the energy transition begins with small, committed, and engaged groups of citizens. We appreciate your time, commitment, and generosity!

See For Yourself!

Wondering what an SRS Summit looks like in action? Take a look at the photos below to understand how participants interact with the energy sources that shape our daily lives.

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