CLEER is based in Garfield County, Colorado, home of the state’s second-highest concentration of oil and gas activity. It was founded in 2008 with the goal of challenging its region – which is largely rural, working class and conservative, with an economy highly dependent on oil and gas production – to become a clean-energy leader.
Starting in its home turf of Garfield County, and expanding outward, CLEER has developed a toolkit of energy-saving programs, barrier-busting techniques and culture-shifting strategies to bring communities together around a shared strategy of saving energy as a path to economic development and diversification.
CLEER has developed an approach for achieving significant emissions reductions that includes the following strategies:
* Catalyze change by inspiring and challenging community leaders to take action, and building political will for it.
* Identify and remove the barriers – financial, institutional, psychological – that keep us from switching to cleaner, more efficient options.
* Measure what you want to change to establish a baseline for setting goals and monitoring progress.
* Focus on the economic and community benefits of saving energy (not on climate change).
* Mainstream clean and renewable energy through marketing, media, events and lots of coaching.
* Tell stories and celebrate successes to inspire more participation.
* Replicate the model in other parts of rural Colorado and across the country.