energy efficiency

#EEDay2020 celebrating how energy efficiency uplifts Black and brown communities , RSVP today!

Sustainability leaders in the fight against climate change are gathering together this coming Wednesday, October 7, 2020 for a virtual half-day event that will celebrate how sustainable energy and energy efficiency can uplift Black and brown communities. The event will bring together energy efficiency leaders, climate warriors, and building science specialists who are spearheading a just transition with one goal in mind–achieving racial and social justice through climate action.  

Energy Efficiency Day 2020

#EEDay2020 will take place on the fourth annual Energy Efficiency Day, a collaborative event supported by hundreds of prominent organizations, companies, and government agencies with the goal of sharing tips, tools, and stories that promote the benefits of energy efficiency. The message of EEDay is simple: “Save Money. Cut Pollution. Create Jobs.” Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs and it supports more than 2.4 million jobs nationwide. 

Energy efficiency

(Source: WOC/CS on Instagram)

RSVP to the the event: #EEDay2020, October 7, 10 AM ET – 2 PM ET 

The organizations behind #EEDay2020

The #EEDay2020 event is hosted in collaboration with two key organizations: Women of Color/Collective of Sustainability (WOC/CS) and Kinetic Communities Consulting. 

WOC/CS is a collective that supports women of color who are searching to connect, collaborate, identify mentorships, job opportunities, and seek resources with sustainability. WOC/CS strives to be a resource of opportunities across the sustainability ecosystem for women of color to build their careers, create professional success, and support their well-being. 

Kinetic Communities Consulting is passionate about making New York City a more sustainable city. They work with energy and affordable housing partners to connect, educate, and simplify energy efficiency opportunities for under-represented communities. Kinetic Communities Consulting works in the intersection of finance, engineering, planning, and organizing “a sweet spot” that helps them understand how to systemically drive change for a just clean energy transition. 

You might be interested: Young Latina Daphany Sanchez leads energy democracy movement in NYC

Energy Efficiency Day guest speakers

#EEDay2020 will feature guest speakers from various industries who will discuss ways to challenge industry titans, ensure a society-wide reduction of energy consumption while simultaneously eliminating energy insecurities, and leading a path toward a carbon-free future. A few of the event speakers include: 

Rhiana-Gunn Wright: Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Rhiana is the architect of the Green New Deal. To Rhiana, climate policy has always been connected to social justice. Her interview with the New York Times highlights how the coronavirus has made climate issues even more stark. She discusses the challenges of leading as a Black woman in the predominantly white male world of environmental policy, which is a must-read. 

Jigar Shah: President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital, the leading investment and operating platform for sustainable infrastructure. Founded in 2014, Generate Capital is the only “one-stop-shop” for pioneers leading the Resource Revolution. Before Generate, as the Founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), Shah pioneered “no money down solar,” which unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market and became the largest solar services company worldwide before its acquisition by MEMC. He’s also the co-host of Greentech Media’s celebrated Energy Gang podcast.

Sydney Céspedes: Campaign Manager with Green for All,  where she works to advance the team’s Safe Homes, Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs campaigns that advocate for deep investments in low-income, clean, and energy efficiency programs, and an inclusive green economy. Sydney Céspedes is a proud daughter of Colombian immigrants. She grew up traveling back and forth to her parent’s home country and visiting family along the Caribbean coast and the Andes. These experiences shaped her understanding and the value of community and social resilience. Sydney has a background in urban planning, community engagement, and community-driven policy change grounded in racial, economic and environmental justice principles

Adriana Espinoza: First-ever Senor Advisor in Environmental Justice to the NYC Mayor’s Office on Climate Change. Adriana is leading the execution of New York City’s first comprehensive study and plan for incorporating environmental justice into City decision- making processes. Prior to the Mayor’s Office, she served as New York City Program Director at the New York League of Conservation Voters. Her focus was advocating the Mayor and City Council to build a more sustainable city and invest in aggressive climate action. She fought along others for many of the City’s biggest climate victories including the Climate Mobilization Act, Commercial Waste Zones, and a historic $44 million investment in parks in 2019.

Kristal Hansley: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of We Solar. As CEO, Kristal brings affordable and accessible community solar energy to under-resourced communities and assists commercial properties with energy efficiency. Kristal is “the first black woman to launch a community solar company, and did so on Juneteenth.


Don’t forget to save your spot for this inspiring event!

energy democracy

Young Latina Daphany Sanchez leads energy democracy movement in NYC

Energy democracy is a collaborative community effort focused on shifting away from traditional corporate modes of energy to energy models that are governed by local communities and are environmentally conscience. Daphany Rose Sanchez is an advocate for energy democracy responsible for creating Kinetic Communities Consulting and one of the 50 winners of Grist50! 

energy democracy

Kinetic Communities ED Daphany Rose Sanchez, on of Grist50! awardees (Photo courtesy of Kinetic Communities)

Each year, Grist -a nonprofit news organization for people who want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck- searches high and low for the most inspiring innovators and do-ers working on fresh solutions to the planet’s biggest problems.

The result is a collection of 50 Fixers working to build a sustainable world that works for everyone. Solutions come in many shapes and sizes: exciting technologies, smart campaigns, forward-thinking legislation, innovative products, courageous organizations. Fixers vary, too; they include farmers, entrepreneurs, comedians, activists, scholars, scientists, and more. Kinetic Communities Executive Director, Daphany Rose Sanchez is one of#Grist50 2019! Congratulations to all #Grist50 fixers!

energy democracy

Daphany Rose Sanchez, founder and ED Kinetic Communities NYC

Founded in 2017, Kinetic works at the crossroads of affordable housing and energy efficiency, serving low- to moderate-income New Yorkers through education, networking, and making opportunities easier to understand. Daphany, a New York City public housing resident, is passionate about ensuring that all New Yorkers preserve their homes through energy democracy.

Daphany has always been an environmentally conscience person, but her experience during Super-storm Sandy was the major turning point in her career that led Daphany to pursue a collaborative approach to her work in the energy field. After the storm she witnessed how engineering companies and community organizations worked together to help people rebuild. It was then that Daphany realized that what needed to be done was not build something new, but merge existing markets.

She decided to adopt this model of community collaboration and energy democracy for her work in the energy field. Her main goal is to give under-served communities a seat at the table in the fight against gentrification by reducing New York City’s contributions to climate change.

Challenging the status-quo with an energy democracy model

Through Kinetic Communities, Daphany has been able to challenge the status-quo when it comes to energy efficiency.

“Our perspective accelerates clean energy implementation with existing communities that are not traditionally engaged,” she explains. “I have been able to design programs focused on reducing harmful air pollutants, increase visibility for the elderly, and promote job creation for people of color regardless of their socio-economic class and education.”

These experiences have propelled Daphany forward in her journey to spread energy democracy. In a male-dominated industry, Daphany leads the charge in energy democracy for under-represented communities in New York.

“As a minority and a 4-foot-11 woman, I often face validation challenges from industry professionals,” says Daphany, describing the obstacles she has faced.

energy democracy

(Photo courtesy of Kinetic Communities)

Reaching where she is today has not been easy. Growing up she took on many student loans just to have an opportunity to have a seat at the table with other decision makers. She has faced people questioning her validity and position as a leader in her field. Yet she has not let these challenges deter her from her goals.

“Instead of feeling oppressed, I became obsessed with having a catalytic impact on breaking stereotypes,” says Daphany.

Daphany chooses to focus on her strengths and use her skills to effect change. Her skills of perception, creative collaboration, and community intuition have been essential skills in leading New York toward a climate neutral environment. These are skills that have been ingrained in her since childhood. Daphany believes that working collectively as communities is the key to addressing important issues such as systematic housing injustice, economic development, and environmental sustainability.

You might be interested: Leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs converge in NJ at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch (EEL)

A vision for New York’s future

“My vision of New York’s future is an equitable carbon neutral city,” say Daphany. “One where organizations work side by side, and community members are empowered to take hold of their energy democracy without burden of stereotypes directing their lives.”

Daphany’s work in promoting energy democracy is making great strides in actualizing that vision. Her accomplishments thus far include being recognized as one of Grist50!, collaborating with NYCHA to create rooftop gardens at 24 buildings in 8 developments, creating green jobs for NYCHA residents, and organizing efficiency awareness campaign events that provide active workshops on energy efficiency. Additionally, Kinetic Communities has joined a national campaign which collectively reached 58 governments, 358 organizations, and 80 million residents in the country. Through the efforts of this campaign, the Brooklyn Borough President announced October 5th as Brooklyn’s Energy Efficiency Day. These experiences have only emphasized the importance for collective action in the energy field. Through collective community efforts change can be effected.

As parting words of advice to others looking to effect change in their careers, Daphany encourages people to find mentors and be curious.

“Explore how other new businesses are implementing their products and learn from their opportunities how you can be different and excel in the future,” she says.

Finally, she encourages people to see their that persistence and risks are worth it. The opportunities for change and success are limitless through learning and accessibility and Daphany hopes to continue to make opportunities available to under-served groups through her own work in the energy field.