The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented significant challenges for program implementers across the Midwest and the world. Whether it was adapting preexisting programs to serve new needs or inventing entirely new programs to address the onslaught of demands brought on from the pandemic, program partners have had to think on their feet and act fast to serve their communities. Today’s post highlights Greenlite Lighting Corporation USA for winning the 2021 Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award.
Greenlite has shown a commitment to supporting low-income communities across the Midwest throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Not only did they expand the reach of their Utility-Funded Food Bank Programs for Energy Efficiency, but this Woman & Minority-Owned company has made their advanced technology available to low-income customers which has helped save significant energy and money. Read on to see how they did it.
Responses have been lightly edited to fit within the interview formatting.
Q: What were the goals of your program and what contributed to your impressive results?
The goals of our program were three-fold. For Food Bank Patrons, we aimed to deliver advanced technology Residential Energy Saving Products that add value to their daily lives by providing measurable savings. We also provided energy efficiency education to impact their household behavioral choices. For our utility clients, our goal was to deliver cost-effective programs with measurable results that reached a previously hard-to-reach demographic segment. In addition, we wanted to allow utility clients a channel by which to engage with their income-disadvantaged residential customers, particularly during a time where corporate support is extremely valued by consumers. Finally, our goal for our Food Bank partners was to be a valuable and flexible partner that appreciates the role of Food Banks in the community and as such, provides a seamless distribution, a deep understanding of Food Bank logistical requirements and is dedicated to adding value to their communities. Our results were due in large part to the strength of these collaborators and the flexibility of our program design.
Q: How did your program impact your community?
Our Food Bank Program has made significant community impacts. There has been a reduction in energy consumption and energy burden among people receiving the products and education, as well as measurable cost saving for income-disadvantaged communities. The educational components of the program have shown a positive impact on not only the recipients’ behavioral choices, but the safety and security in their homes as well.
Q: Partnerships, specifically with food banks, were an essential aspect of your program, how did you foster these relationships and what did you learn from them?
Our in-depth understanding of our stakeholders’ goals allowed us to foster our relationships with Food Banks, Pantries and Shelves. Through our outreach and our team's passion to distribute energy-saving products to those who need them the most, we gained a deep understanding and appreciation of the goals, reach and dedication to hunger relief of Food Banks. This allowed us to be a better partner for these organizations to support those inflicted with unemployment, health and financial vulnerabilities in a meaningful way together.
Q: Moving forward, how do you plan to continue to engage low-income communities in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Our plan is to take the lessons learned from 2020 and continue to employ our creative problem-solving skills and our holistic program design to scale our utility-funded programs across the country. As 2020 highlighted, supporting our neighbors and fostering communities through challenging times is our collective responsibility. Greenlite will continue to expand its outreach to as many organizations as possible to support low-income communities through providing measurable residential energy and cost savings and energy efficiency education to impact future behavioral choices.
Greenlite was able to think on their feet and quickly adapt their program to ensure that their impact never faltered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Know another team that implemented an impactful program in the last two years? Nominate them for the 2022 Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award! Applications are open until September 17. Discover all award categories here - or read our first Q&A to learn more about our 2021 Education winner!