As we work to address the climate crisis, making sure equitable clean energy solutions that benefit low-income and minority communities are of utmost importance. Ben Dueweke, Director of Community Partnerships for Walker-Miller Energy Services, is driven by the idea that we can empower people through intentional energy efficiency solutions that create jobs and uplift communities as we build a clean energy economy that works for everyone.
Ben’s work at Walker-Miller, a Detroit-based, woman and Black-owned energy efficiency firm, is focused on increasing access and availability of energy resources in underserved communities. Through Walker-Miller’s partnerships with DTE Energy and Michigan’s utility companies, Ben works to find and implement tangible energy efficiency solutions for families and businesses. Some of these solutions are simple, but make a big difference, including the installation of energy efficient light bulbs, shower heads, and the weatherization of homes. Additionally, implementation of these solutions requires a larger workforce, which opens up jobs from entry-level positions to management positions. Walker-Miller offers opportunities for career development and advancement through education and certification pathways, allowing people to maintain and move up in long-term, good-paying careers in the energy sector. Most importantly, these solutions are helping make communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.
As the climate crisis continues to accelerate, Ben’s background in civil engineering reinforces his belief in the importance of incorporating intentional investments to benefit the communities and people who need it most.
For Ben, the Build Back Better act is an opportunity to invest in accessible energy efficiency solutions, create good-paying careers, and put us on track towards a clean energy economy.
“There are huge opportunities for decarbonization within energy efficiency. We can’t hit climate goals that need to be hit without robust energy efficiency. It’s also such a great way for Congress to support their districts because you are really investing in your own community. You are improving the housing stock and building community value on a residential and a commercial level by focusing on energy efficiency standards. These investments come with quality jobs and are built around sustained operations. Looking at these investments and thinking about ways to thoughtfully invest in the people, the training and the career pathways in parallel with the built environment will have ripple effects in so many positive ways.”