Environmental Groups – Energy
Austin Energy residential customers have the lowest per capita consumption of any large electric utility in the Texas ERCOT electric system, greatly lowering their carbon footprint. This is largely due to its energy efficiency programs, which have enjoyed widespread, long-term grassroots support.
4117 Berkman Drive
Austin, TX 78723
Bobbie Tsukahara (512) 291-4338
Purpose: 350 Austin is the local affiliate of 350.org, a grassroots, global climate movement. Our purpose is summed up in our tagline: “acting locally in the global climate movement.” Over-arching goals are: (1) keep carbon in the ground; (2) help build a new, more equitable low-carbon economy; (3) pressure governments into reducing emissions. The fundamental principles interwoven into our goals and projects are Climate Justice, Collaboration, and Mass Mobilization.
Projects/Activities: 1) Two divestment campaigns (individuals; institutions), (350-austin.org/divest); 2) A variety of activities targeting the Keystone XL Pipeline; 3) Developing and solidifying relationships with east Austin organizations as part of climate justice.
Meetings: 3rd Tuesday at Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto). Check Web site or Facebook for changes. Dates/times for team meetings vary. Call or e-mail for details.
Volunteer Opportunities: Social media; Web site development; data analysis; graphics design; monitoring government and regulatory agencies; event planning; building relationships with collaborators; and outreach.
4002 Edgerock Drive
Austin, TX 78731
Greg Choban (512) 297-3615
Purpose: Climate Buddies is a volunteer organization that promotes dramatic reductions at the grassroots level in both atmospheric greenhouse gases and reliance on fossil fuels, while promoting rapidly increased reliance on renewable energy. We educate and empower people to include climate change considerations into every decision they make. We focus on live interaction with groups of people including spiritual, public and academia.
Projects/Activities: Our Faith and Energy Action Team (FEAT) assists Austin religious congregations of all faiths to become carbon neutral. FEAT conducts carbon audits of facilities and congregational activities and provides guidance for reducing carbon and saving money on utility costs. We also educate many different groups within Austin on ways and means of becoming carbon neutral.
Volunteer Opportunities: Programs to reduce greenhouse gases and increase the use of renewable energy.
Newsletters/Publications: See Web site and Facebook.
309 E 11th Street, Suite 2
Austin, TX 78701
Carol Geiger (512) 477-1155
Purpose: Public Citizen Texas is an office of progressive advocates who research and recommend policy that will lower electric bills, increase clean and renewable sources of energy, and combat greenhouse gas emissions which are responsible for global climate change. We have professionals working to encourage city and state incentives for energy efficiency (the only negative-cost energy source), to create incentives and mandates for more renewable energy, and to stop newly proposed coal and nuclear plants which pose major health and environmental risks and are likely to cost consumers more than cleaner greener alternatives.
Volunteer Opportunities: Public Citizen runs an internship program year round.
Dues: $20; pay online at citizen.org◊Support Us◊Become a Member.
309 E 11th Street, Suite 2
Austin, TX 78701
Scott Burton (512) 394-3537
Purpose: Solar Austin works to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy in Central Texas to build a healthy community and a strong local economy.
Projects/Activities: We advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Solar Austin was instrumental in getting aggressive solar programs and goals into Austin Energy’s Strategic Plan and continues to be a bridge between citizens, the solar industry, community non-profits, Austin Energy, Austin’s City Council, and the City’s Electric Utility and Resource Management Commissions to help craft a future that works for everyone.
Meetings: Solar Austin Happy Hour is the 4th Tuesday of most months from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at Scholz Garten. Happy hour starts with networking and speakers address topics that relate to solar and other clean energy solutions, including policies, programs, technologies, and the energy market.
Volunteer Opportunities: Various advocacy campaigns, happy hours, and other events.
Newsletters/Publications: The Solar Austin Listserv: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be added.
Dues: Contributions welcomed – Solar Austin relies on your donations to run successful advocacy campaigns.
Texas Solar Energy Society
P.O. Box 1447
Austin, TX 78767-1447
Lucy Stolzenburg (512) 751-1873
Purpose: TXSES is a non-profit committed to advocating for the adoption of solar energy on homes and businesses. We have chapters in Austin, North Texas, San Antonio, and Houston whose members meet on a regular basis to further the goal of a renewable energy future.
Projects/Activities: In June we partner with Austin Energy Green Building for the “Austin Cool House Tour.” This nationally recognized event showcases the best in sustainable residential design and construction. There is plenty of solar on the tour, but we emphasize the importance of creating structures that use less energy. The designers, building professionals, and staff from Austin Energy Green Building are on hand at each project to answer questions.
In October, TXSES partners with Pedernales Electric Cooperative to produce the “Hill Country Solar Tour,” and in 2016 TXSES and Bluebonnet Electric Coop collaborated on their first solar tour.
Meetings: TXSES hosts its annual meeting in January. Chapters throughout the state meet monthly or quarterly.
Volunteer Opportunities: We need volunteers for the Austin Cool House Tour in June. You need not be a solar/energy efficiency expert, just have a ready smile.
Newsletters/Publications: The Solar Reflector, 4 times/year. Sign up for our mailing list at www.txses.org
Dues: $25-100/Individual; $150-$1,000/Business.
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