At the Energy Justice Clinic at Dartmouth College, we were excited to do a community mural with COVER Home Repair. It seemed an ideal way to engage the Upper Valley community and to collaborate with an amazing nonprofit organization that addresses energy insecurity locally. Energy insecurity is often not visible if you are not directly affected. A mural, about hope and community, seemed like it would be an inspiring way to talk about energy issues.
COVER Home Repair is an organization rooted in the community. They have a reuse store and emergency building and repair services that they provide to help people age with dignity and live in more comfortable, safe homes. To do home repairs, they typically organize volunteer workdays. While volunteers enjoy the work and getting to know other people, the projects make peoples homes more energy efficient, solid, and accessible.
As we build more renewable energy, we have the opportunity to make energy systems more community-driven and equitable. People living in more precarious and dilapidated housing often experience compounding vulnerabilities related to poor physical housing conditions, hefty economic burdens for energy costs, and behavioral changes to heating and cooling that can negatively affect health.
Energy insecurity remains a pressing issue in the Upper Valley. COVER is part of an important support network to help build more resilient communities. We enjoyed getting to know people and making friends as we painted. At the clinic we look forward to continuing to support efforts like COVER’s to create energy efficiency in an equitable way.