The Back Porch Energy Initiative

Official Project

The Problem

From America's back highways to your own back porch, I am excited to share with you the ideas and actions of the Back Porch Energy Education Corporation, Virginia based educational non-profit working for environmentalism in the American Southeast. Back Porch Energy is committed to fostering local responses to the national and global problem of energy consumption.

Plan of Action

Our services include in-home energy audits and implementation of energy saving supplies. We also offer a variety of educational programming and community organizing training to all ages and audiences. As activists and organizers, our work encourages open dialogues within communities and facilitates networks of concerned individuals working to create long-lasting change. Back Porch was born and bred in the American south, where my co-directors and I first visualized the need for a change. The American Southeast has the highest per capita energy consumption values in the country, spending only one fifth the national averages on energy efficiency programs and resources. Therefore we are focusing on the Southeast for our kick off project: The Back Porch Energy Initiative. This project has us traveling on a trailer fueled by waste vegetable oil for ten months through every state in the Southeastern region, offering free programming to rural and underserved communities regarding energy consumption awareness and environmental conservation. To these audiences we are offering an alternative perspective on energy consumption, environmental conservation, and sustainability. We are visiting one town per week, providing in-home energy audits and implementation of energy conservation efforts, educational programming for all levels and ages, and consultation to small businesses, in hopes of providing an often ignored part of the country with a way to reduce both consumption and cost. In addition, we are supporting and creating a network with numerous Southeastern sustainability projects, from local agriculture initiatives to university-community partnerships.

Project Updates

4/20/08-The Plum grant money was very helpful in the process of community organizing. Elizabeth and her program worked on addressing clean energy concerns surrounding the presidential primaries in South Carolina - urging all of the candidates to put America on a new clean energy path through conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy such as wind and solar. As their campaign has increased, The Back Porch Initiative has had several particularly successful events, such as the rally outside of the Republican Debates: calling attention to the rising sea levels of South Carolina due to global warming.

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