Eco-D provides residents and community organizations with resources to achieve healthy, affordable, resilient, and energy secure homes and neighborhoods.
Our extensive history includes providing energy-saving workshops, in-home visits, and appliance upgrades for more than 57,000 residents, helping them lower their bills an average of 14% and save over $49 million collectively. Eco-D designed the first large-scale water conservation program in Southeast Michigan and provided 2,100 clients in-home water audits, education and plumbing repair, resulting in 20% savings, or $420 per household.
At the neighborhood scale, Eco-D has created a model of inclusive community engagement and established 4 Eco-Districts in Detroit. We partner with over 50 organizations and thousands of residents each year to embrace equity, resilience, and climate protection.
An Eco-D educator gets the whole family involved in sealing a drafty window.
Eco-D for Residents
Our Eco-D program is available to residents and neighborhoods. We design and advocate solutions that promote utility affordability, housing security, climate resilience, and resident-led neighborhood development.
We serve people who:
Face unaffordable utility costs, 15-30% of their total income
Need quality, affordable healthy homes
Are vulnerable to impacts of climate change
Unaffordable utility bills were rated as the #1 housing concern among a 2018 survey of Detroit residents. Less than 2% of utility safety net programs are dedicated to deep efficiency improvements like weatherization.
We lead direct service programs:
Sustainability-focused case management and train the trainer sessions
Hands-on Energy & Water Smart workshops, DIY supplies to install
In-home energy & water-saving assessments and education
Efficiency upgrades and repairs
Our holistic approach can lift people out of poverty, foster a healthy living environment, and ensure energy and water shutoffs never happen in the future. Some residents have lived without a furnace or running water for years; connecting with Eco-D can be transformational.
We advocate for green, healthy housing & neighborhoods:
Researching the health, economic, and community benefits of programs
Partnering with coalitions to improve policy and implementation
Integrating utility strategies within housing and human service sectors
Designing innovative, accessible financing models
Layering multiple resources and programs for maximum impact
Affordable housing is the bedrock for communities and families. With over 50 community partners, Eco-D is a trusted practitioner and thought-leader working on cutting edge utility and housing solutions.
Introduction to Energy Smart
EcoWorks' Energy Smart program empowers people to take control of their utility bills to save energy, water, and money. The program not only educates – it provides the knowledge, motivation, and tools for residents to take action and lower their utility bills.
Energy Smart House Shell
See how the House Shell, including roofs, windows, and doors can be repaired or upgraded to save on your utility bills.
Energy Smart Occupant Behaviors
See how Occupant Behaviors can be changed to save on your utility bills. Dressing for the weather, unplugging appliances, and switching off the lights all contribute to Occupant Behavior.
Energy Smart House Systems
See how House Systems, including furnaces, air conditioners, lighting, and water heaters can be repaired or upgraded to save on your utility bills.
Eco-D for Neighborhoods
Eco-D for Neighborhoods aims to make Detroit a 21st century model for urban regeneration. We believe every neighborhood can fulfill its own vision for becoming not only a green neighborhood, but a great neighborhood.
Our team offers facilitation, information exchanges, and identifies existing resources and innovations neighborhoods can adopt. We support inclusive asset-mapping and planning processes that lead to a range of benefits: improving access to healthy food and green space, creating a broader array of transportation options, expanding educational and job training opportunities for youth, and addressing issues related to displacement from unaffordable housing and utility costs.
Our work is collaborative, resident-led, and rooted in the three pillars:
Equity is a commitment to inclusivity and addressing the needs of people most vulnerable to change.
Left: Students complete a neighborhood mural as part of a 7-week summer job experience with EcoWorks. In the process, they gained life-long leadership and communication skills, along with a stipend and college scholarship
Resilience is a commitment to protect neighborhoods against environmental, social, and economic stresses, such as intense heat waves and flooding that result from climate change.
Left: Residents in the West Village Eco-D neighborhood celebrate a successful project with a community dinner. The neighborhood has been working to build relationships between longtime and newer residents and developing storm water management projects to prepare for climate impacts.
Climate protection is a commitment to strive for carbon neutrality within the district.
Left: HOPE Village Residents installing raised garden beds during a neighborhood work day. Gardens sequester carbon emissions in their soil; the neighborhood also boasts a model LEED Platinum house that uses 80% less energy than average.
Eco-D in Action
While Eco-D has big goals for ending utility poverty, reducing climate impacts, and supporting equitable, resilient neighborhood development, the foundation of our work is about partnering with residents. These testimonials go beyond impact metrics; they let us know that Eco-D is making a difference in people’s lives.
Killi S., Detroit Resident
“When EcoWorks came to my home they were very informative and gave hands on training. They showed me how to do it. People have come before but never showed me or involved me. They were the best, ever. They helped me put up the tracks [for the window kits]. I thought they were family they worked so well together. I am in awe, I’ve never had a group that awesome, I didn’t want them to leave.”
Novellia P., Detroit Resident
“Sometimes you try, but it can be so overwhelming you want to give up. When I went down into the basement to get my towels and I saw the water leaking I just felt powerless. People are out there with need; with no income and their house at risk. I had an excellent visit. I learned how water can be saved through great explanations of usage, conservation, bill education and sewerage. These things I did not know. I feel hopeful and so empowered. I am very grateful for the kindness, compassion and teaching of my educator. She was the best. She knows how to educate with dignity.”
Eco-D is 1 of 3 EcoWorks programs providing just, equitable solutions to climate change and other community sustainability challenges. All of our programs are united under the umbrella of:
Net Zero For All, a regional initiative to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions while keeping equity and justice front and center.
A Network of Programs
Strategic Community Initiatives
develops custom-fit energy efficiency and clean energy solutions for municipalities, school districts, hospitals, small businesses and non-profit organizations.
Youth Energy Squad grows the next generation of young and diverse green leaders through hands-on, place- based projects that make homes, schools and communities more sustainable for everyone.