The Detroit Youth Energy Squad (D-YES) empowers individuals, especially youth, to make homes more energy efficient and become leaders in Michigan’s green economy. We provide free home energy visits, installing energy and water saving supplies while teaching our clients what they can do to save on their utility bill. Typically, these visits save our clients $250 a year, and to date we have saved Detroit area residents a total of about $325,000.
To date, we have served over 1,300 lower-income households in Detroit, prioritizing our services for senior citizens and people needing physical assistance with installations. A preliminary analysis shows that households are saving about 10% on their gas and electric bills, or about $250 annually. Collectively, this means we are helping households save over $325,000 a year. These savings also generate major environmental benefits – preventing over 1,625 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to saving over 186,000 gallons of gasoline!
Beyond the numbers of energy savings, D-YES has an immediate, tangible impact on the lives of those we serve. When we put up a window kit or weatherstrip a door, we make homes warmer and healthier. We empower people with the knowledge and skills to practice energy conservation long after we leave.
Since our first session in 2009, 58 youth have participated as D-YES crew members, each completing a 15-30 hour training about household energy efficiency and additional educational activities about sustainability, climate change, environmental and social justice, civic engagement, and green jobs.