by Robin McKillop
California Youth Energy Services (CYES), in partnership with MMWD, is offering free Green House Calls for Marin homeowners and renters through April. Each visit includes an energy- and water-use assessment, plus a mini-retrofit with water-efficient showerheads, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), retractable clotheslines and more.
A program of the Berkeley-based, nonprofit Rising Sun Energy Center, CYES provides green job training for youth ages 15 to 22. This innovative program started in 2000, when Rising Sun taught a residential energy efficiency workshop at Berkeley High School. The students, inspired and empowered, decided they wanted to do more than just talk about climate change. They resolved to carry their newfound knowledge out into the community, and CYES was born. With support from the City of Berkeley, Rising Sun launched a pilot program which hired 15 youth. They managed, over a few weeks, to serve 300 homes with free energy and water conservation services. Since then, the program has grown exponentially, hiring and training 830 young people and serving 16,000 homes in Marin and the East Bay.
The youth are chosen for their enthusiasm, ability to work in teams, and self-motivation. They work in pairs composed of a minor and a youth aged 18 or over, so that there is always a legal adult on each assignment.
Over the past decade, CYES has evolved into a successful community-based green services program. It works alongside a number of other local programs to increase mutual benefits and referrals. Local partners include the East Bay Energy Watch and Marin Energy Watch Partnerships, as well as many of the water utility districts and municipalities in the Bay Area.
For more information about CYES, please visit the program website at risingsunenergy.org/content/cyes.html. To schedule your free appointment, contact Travers McNeice at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 532-7566.