About Strategic Community Initiatives
Strategic Community Initiatives (SCI), a program of the non-profit EcoWorks, develops custom-fit climate and energy solutions for
municipalities, school districts, health systems, small businesses and non-profit organizations. SCI has secured over $5 million in clean energy investments and $30 million lifetime savings for over 30 Michigan municipalities.
SCI Energy Manager Brittany Turner (left) joins staff from the City of River Rouge, a longtime SCI partner, in accepting their Michigan Green Communities award.
Our team of Energy Managers have extensive experience partnering with public sector institutions and deep understanding of political and financial constraints and the mission to serve the public good. As a trusted non-profit partner, we bring a unique blend of people and change management skills coupled with technical assessment and project management capabilities:
Project analyses and scoping for energy efficiency, renewables, storage, microgrids
Utility rates and incentives optimization
Greenhouse gas inventories
Comprehensive energy and climate plans
Facility energy and water assessments
Clean energy financing, including revolving loan funds
Organizational policies and continuous improvement
Owner’s representation and impartial contract review
RFP development & bid specifications
Financing strategies and recommendations
QA/QC and project evaluation
Integration into master plans, capital improvement plans, and procurement policies
Ambitious climate and energy goal-setting
Meeting facilitation for leadership and constituents
Professional development and training
Inclusive, engaging community outreach
Municipalities and public institutions have a mission to serve their communities, steward financial resources, and model climate leadership. By partnering with the SCI team, these institutions can:
Reduce or eliminate large variable costs
Free up capital to reinvest in future projects
Improve resilience to extreme weather and climate impacts
Engage constituents in fostering healthy, vibrant, inclusive environments
Robust community energy management makes organizations more nimble and resilient as energy costs and climate impacts rise.
Our community soil scientist takes a sample from EcoWorks headquarters, part of a study to devise a transformative, low-cost remediation technique to make lead in soils inert and safe for families.
Public organizations can benefit from added technical expertise and staff capacity to develop energy plans and implement energy projects.
EcoWorks’ energy managers are available to work with clients to:
Understand their energy needs and concerns
Establish energy savings goals
Benchmark energy consumption
Develop and manage holistic energy and climate action plans
Energy managers have flexible skill sets and can be brought on for any scope of work, starting small if needed. They are responsible for all administrative, technical, and supervisory tasks related to each client’s energy policies and projects.
For organizations and municipalities that do not warrant a full-time or in-house energy manager, SCI can arrange for an energy manager to be shared between your team and a partner to facilitate economies of scale. Learning and working collaboratively, shared energy management creates opportunities for climate leadership, regardless of the size of your municipality or organization.
Our Work in Action
Creating an Engagement Strategy:
Community organizations and public sector institutions are responsible to the people they serve. We believe that inclusive engagement is foundational to just and equitable energy and climate planning.
In Detroit, EcoWorks was a lead partner in developing the City’s first Sustainability Action Agenda. We recruited and managed a team of 14 sustainability ambassadors, who attended over 100 community meetings and town halls, collected 1,200 surveys, and ensured that robust, inclusive engagement reached over 6,800 Detroiters in 8 months.
Setting Bold Energy, Climate and Sustainability Goals:
A shared vision opens the pathway for sustained action and focuses partners toward a common goal. When challenges arise, commitments to net zero emissions or 100% clean energy can provide the urgency and rationale to keep pressing forward.
438 U.S. mayors, including 20 in MI and several EcoWorks clients, are committed to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. In the City of Ferndale, a signatory, SCI developed a municipally focused revolving energy fund which leverages the financial savings from energy efficiency upgrades to reinvest in future clean energy projects.
SCI also provided a framework for fund management, project selection, and potential sources of seed funding. A centerpiece of the framework was an LED streetlighting evaluation, which will generate annual savings of 800,000 kWh, 1.1 million lbs of CO2, and $150,000.
Bringing Projects to Life:
The best engagement, visioning, and planning is only successful when it culminates in action. We collaborate with every client to ensure they have access to the financing and expertise to execute.
SCI worked with the City of Pleasant Ridge to create a Community Energy Strategic Plan, which included extensive community input and comprehensive financing options. SCI oversaw the development of a 20 kW solar PV array installation on the community center, which is estimated to save $82,500 and generate 754 MWh over the next 25 years.
SCI 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
Eco-D provides residents and community organizations with resources to achieve healthy, affordable, resilient, and energy secure homes and neighborhoods.
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.