Building & Electrification Fellow

Host: Yolo County
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Affordable Housing, Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Climate Mitigation, Disaster Response and Preparedness / Emergency Management (e.g., flood prevention, wildfire prevention, coastal protection), Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure Development – including Broadband, Renewable Energy
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Facilitation, Environmental Justice, Stakeholder Engagement,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – The Yolo Sustainability Team primarily works off-site, with the option for occasional in-site work. Most often, the team will meet up at local coffee shops for team meetings and to co-work while a majority of work is done independently.

Fellows will be expected to attend monthly in-person Commission meetings, as well as outreach events such as tabling and workshops.


Service Needs & Plans

In September of 2020, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors adopted a Climate Emergency Resolution (Resolution No. 20-114) that “declares climate change a crisis requiring urgent and immediate mobilization of public and private resources to develop and implement a climate and sustainability plan that identifies and integrates current and future actions needed to achieve a just economic recovery and transition to a countywide carbon negative footprint by 2030.” This new target requires the County to prepare a new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) which must incorporate the principles of equity and justice.

While the County is undertaking a CAAP update (to be completed in Fall 2024), the County’s Climate Action Commission has identified 6 critical “Early Action Projects” to begin implementing NOW to ensure swift progress is made toward our climate goals. Given the large GHG impact of the building electrification sector (the County’s second largest source of emissions) and the strong public demand for increased education, funding, and technical assistance to support electrification and energy efficiency priorities, the County is looking for a Building Electrification Fellow to manage a suite of building electrification programs that meet both our emissions reduction and community benefit goals. Given the focus of a Just Transition in our climate work, all of these electrification programs will center social equity and ensure that marginalized populations are centered in our work and prioritized for funding, support, and technical assistance.

Project Description

The Yolo County Department of Community Service is looking for a CivicSpark Fellow to help plan and implement two critical “early action” projects that will accelerate equitable building electrification in Yolo County and help the County achieve its goal of achieving net negative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. These two projects—an Electrification Retrofit Rebate Outreach Program (ERRO) and a Home Energy Labeling Program—were identified as priority projects by the County’s Climate Action Commission and have been approved in concept by the County’s Board of Supervisors. These projects include the following goals:

  1. Coordinate project marketing efforts and oversee data collection for early action projects such as the Electrification Retrofit Rebate Outreach Program (ERRO).
  2. Facilitate and promote the pilot launch of early action projects such as the Home Energy Labeling Program.
  3. Enhance and broaden the resource toolkit for home electrification in Yolo County, with a long-term vision of advancing both internal and community-level building electrification, ensuring these resources are widely accessible and cater to the needs of all community members, regardless of their economic status or type of residence.
  4. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to support the Sustainability Division’s communications work and broader CAAP goals.

The role of the Fellow in the project includes Early Action Implementation projects, contributing to and building upon the existing Research on the programs, supporting the launch and marketing and development of project descriptions and plans in coordination with staff, consultants, and Commission, project coordination, and exploration of potential useful technologies and project support. The Fellow will also support broader climate goals, Commission, staff, and consultants, and the Communications Fellow as needed.

Project Outcomes would include:

  1. Electrification Retrofit Rebate Outreach Program (ERRO) project implementation and promotion with the support of staff, Commission, and consultants. Report to County Board of Supervisors on program reach, number of rebates secured, and estimated GHG reduction impact.
  2. Home Energy Labeling Program project implementation and promotion with the support of staff, Commission, and consultants. Completion of at least 25 home energy scores. A report to the County Board of Supervisors on program impact.
  3. Home Energy Labeling toolkit resources to support electrification within the County for years to come.
  4. Electrification community engagement and awareness toolkit to support climate action and sustainability efforts in Yolo County.
    Broader support of climate action goals and social media outreach in coordination with the Communications Fellow.
  5. Support in reaching our carbon-negative by 2030 goals through supporting the launch and promotion of two projects that will reduce County greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
  6. Staff reports and presentations for Commission meetings.

The Fellow’s role would be to:

  1. Implement and promote Early Action Projects that advance our building electrification and equity goals, kickstarting our County’s emissions reductions and supporting just transition.
  2. Educate the public on residential efficiency and renewables to reduce emissions, with a focus on ensuring equitable access and participation in these opportunities, supporting a just transition for all community members.
  3. Push the Yolo County 2030 CAAP goals to fruition by taking on four identified critical Early Action Projects with a commitment to equitable and inclusive community involvement.
Desired Skills Organization & Workplace Highlights

Yolo County is a place where collaboration is part of our culture. We are a county with limited resources and therefore we help each other out as much as we can. While we take our work seriously, we try not to take ourselves too seriously and have fun whenever we can. The Office of Sustainability’s work is guided by the principles of a Just Transition, and equitable engagement is the central focus of the County’s Climate Emergency Declaration, the Climate Action Commission, and our broader sustainability work.

The Fellow will be mentored by the County’s Sustainability Manager and will have the opportunity to interact with elected officials, community partners, and members of the public. As a former CivicSpark Senior Project Manager, the Sustainability Manager cares deeply about creating a Fellow experience that is dynamic, engaging, and tailored to the Fellow’s interests and professional goals. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend various County events and meetings that align with their interests and will have regular, structured career development conversations with the Sustainability Manager.

Yolo County prides itself in its policies that focus on protecting farmland and open space, leaving urban development to incorporated areas. This allows the County to have many recreational opportunities in different types of natural environments and farmland. At the same time, these policies leave the County with limited resources and therefore every project completed comes with a significant sense of professional pride and accomplishment. Yolo County is also centrally located to many incredible amenities – Sacramento is just next door, and the mountains and the Bay Area are both just a short trip away. Come see what an amazing place Yolo County is to live and work!

Community Highlights

Nestled in northern California, Yolo County offers a vibrant blend of urban and rural living experiences. An agricultural mecca and the home to the esteemed University of California, Davis, the county boasts a diverse community enriched by its agricultural heritage and academic excellence.

With cities like Davis, Woodland, West Sacramento, and Winters, as well as unincorporated areas such as Knights Landing, Esparto, Madison, Dunnigan, Guinda and more, Yolo County provides a unique mix of cultural events, farmers’ markets, and outdoor recreational activities. Its fertile farmland yields a bounty of crops, reflecting a rich agricultural tradition that coexists harmoniously with its thriving arts scene and natural beauty.

Diversity is a priority in Yolo County, where residents enjoy a strong sense of community amid a backdrop of cultural richness and scenic landscapes. The county is committed to uplifting underserved populations, offering programs and services to support diverse communities. From farm-to-table dining to outdoor adventures, Yolo County offers an enticing lifestyle that appeals to a wide range of interests and backgrounds

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