This award-winning program teaches students about energy efficiency, auditing techniques and sustainable living so they can share their knowledge within their schools, area small-business owners, senior citizens, parents, and other community members to help them save money.
Once trained, the student energy auditors work in the community, sharing their knowledge with small-business owners, senior citizens, parents, and other community members. More than 300 students — including many at-risk youths — have participated in the program, which has saved an estimated 1,500,000 kWh of electricity and $200,000 at more than 500 senior facilities, small businesses and residences. The program also includes a summer camp called Planet Energy to teach younger children about energy and how it affects the environment. This program is funded primarily by the Marin Community Foundation and the Small Business Energy Alliance. Since its inception in 1998, the ACE program has expanded its focus to include solar assessments, college students’ energy audits of their campus, sustainability audits, climate protection, curriculum development and teacher training for professional development. ACE has expanded its California outreach to include Humboldt County, Stockton and Southern California. In 2006, the ACE program won a Flex Your Power award for leadership and education.