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Get ready to vote for the 2023 Greenpower Grant recipient

April 07, 2023 Ashley Cissna, EWEB Communications

EWEB is excited to announce the eligible candidates for the 2023 Greenpower Grant! Funding for the grant comes from voluntary Greenpower customer contributions. One project will be chosen by majority vote of Greenpower customers.

The purpose of the Greenpower Grant is to provide financial support for a project that helps our community reduce carbon emissions. The project could include installation of renewable energy systems, battery storage systems, research or studies on renewable energy, educational curriculum or workshop development, or carbon emission offsets. 

Below is a summary of the projects submitted, in alphabetical order. The full proposal for each candidate is linked at the end of their summary.

Bethel School District

The Bethel School District’s mission is to provide an education to the 5,000+ students living in the Bethel School District. Our goal is to provide clean energy to the Bethel School District, and potentially create a sustainable backup power battery system for Prairie Mountain School and/or the EWEB Emergency Water Station, which is located at the farm of Prairie Mountain/Kalapuya High School. This project will provide energy to the Bethel School District, reducing our energy costs while also increasing resiliency by providing backup power for Prairie Mountain School and/or EWEB’s Water Station. Read our full proposal.

Friends of Trees

Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the world around them through a simple solution – Planting Trees. Together. Friends of Trees (FOT) recognizes that not everyone has equal access to the benefits of trees. Our organization’s commitment to support community forestry focuses on providing tree planting and tree care education to all. Our intention with the 2023 Greenpower Grant is to fund the expansion of our Neighborhood Tree program to all areas of Eugene with low tree equity scores. Using shade equity tools we will prioritize outreach and communication to areas in the city where there is low canopy cover, low income and high racial diversity. Read our full proposal.

Greenhill Humane Society

The mission of Greenhill Human Society is to provide care and shelter for animals, support and resources for people, and education to promote the humane treatment of animals. We have been caring for animals and support people in Lane County since 1944 as the only animal shelter within the Eugene/Springfield area. Currently, we are the sole-organization in our community that provides large-scale sheltering and veterinary care during times of crisis and disaster. Our hope with the 2023 Greenpower Grant is to install a 12.48 KW Solar Electric System on our recently constructed Dog Adoption Building. This will increase resiliency, reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources, while reducing expenses that enable us to put more resources into helping the community. Read our full proposal.

McKenzie Fire & Rescue

The McKenzie Fire & Rescue is a combination District of five stations within the McKenzie Valley providing emergency response to the approximately 10,000 people residing in our District. A combination District has minimal staffing and relies on a volunteer base during emergency responses. During large scale emergencies, our headquarters in Leaburg becomes a community center providing shelter, food, heat/cooling system, sleeping bags, hygiene, etc., until relief organizations can gather for response. With the 2023 Greenpower Grant we will install solar panels on the headquarter station in Leaburg, OR. This installation will reduce operating costs and contribute to the preservation of natural resources. Solar power is an effective, environmentally friendly way to keep our headquarters sustainable and reduce operating expenses as a benefit to community members. This reduction in expenses will allow our operating budget to be available for critical equipment and supplies. Read our full proposal.

Shift Community Cycles

The mission of Shift Community Cycle, a nonprofit, community bike shop in Eugene, is to offer education and outreach to remove barriers to the cycling culture for children, women, LGTBQ2S+, BIPOC community and individuals with (seen and unseen) disabilities. We offer education and outreach through programs and services to all members of the community. Our Greenpower Grant proposal is to fund the Re-Cycling Toward Equity program, to support active transportation and build vocational skills training while reducing the community’s carbon footprint. This program will recycle and refurbish used bikes to give to members of the community who are unable to purchase one themselves, while also providing vocational job training. The goal of the program is to encourage the community to use bicycles in lieu of automobiles and keep used bikes out of landfills, thus reducing our community’s carbon footprint. Read our full proposal.

The Village School

The Village School provides an education that fully integrates art with academic curriculum, guided by observation of child development that promote healthy growth of the whole human being – the head (thinking), the heart (feeling), and the hands (willing). As a Premier Green School, we are committed to environmental education and minimizing our ecological footprint. Our goal for this proposal is to install a minimum of 27 KW of solar panels on the roof our cafeteria. Our kitchen provides breakfast and lunch, prepared with mostly organic and locally sourced materials. This project, combined with other energy efficiency upgrades, including new windows and ductless heat pump, will dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve our learning environments, protect against power outages and save on operating costs. This project also has an educational benefit to our students, as there will be a monitoring station where students can see the amount of power generated as it happens and over time. Read our full proposal.

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Westminster is committed to its mission of being a caring community of faith and serving the needs of the community by providing a welcoming space for both our Christian community and outside groups. We plan to use the Greenpower Grant to replace our exisiting aging and inefficient natural-gas fired hydronic heating system. Our estimated carbon footprint, including emissions from members traveling to and from the church is 142 metric tons of carbon per year. Over a third, 51 metric tons, is from our use of natural gas. Our new system will elminate our use of natural gas and be a more renewable and energy efficient system, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. We intend to use this opportunity to provide an example of how older buildings can be upgraded with low-energy and low carbon footprint HVAC systems. We hope this will be encouraging for others to consider similiar replacements to reduce their carbon footprint as well. Read our full proposal.

How to vote

To participate in this year's selection process, customers must be subscribers of the Greenpower program. Greenpower is a voluntary program that supports clean, sustainable energy and encourages renewable energy projects in our local community. Become a subscriber today and cast your vote for the 2023 Greenpower Grant recipient.

Ballots will be delivered to all current Greenpower subscribers via email. You must be a Greenpower subscriber by April 18, 2023 in order to receive a ballot. Online voting will remain open through April 20.

The 2023 Greenpower Grant recipient will be announced on Earth Day 2023, April 22.

If you have any questions on the program or are a current Greenpower Subscriber and haven’t received your ballot please email Cheryl.Froehlich@eweb.org.