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Oct 11, 2023

Empowering the Hispanic Community in the Energy Efficiency Revolution

Our industry needs to do a better job of celebrating diversity and meeting the Hispanic community where they are.

By: Jose Diaz Jr.

Two men at work

View this article in Spanish.

As the director of operations for Allied Experts—a New Jersey-based home performance company—I understand the importance of the whole-house approach. Our entire team recognizes that the home operates as a system and to fix one problem you have to recognize the underlying causes whether they be obviously connected, or not.

What if we took this same approach for our industry?

In the vast panorama of innovation, the energy efficiency industry gleams brightly. Encompassing sustainability, fiscal mindfulness, and eco-conservation, it offers a fertile ground ripe for exploration. But there’s an underlying issue: We don’t properly integrate the Hispanic community.

Just like a home with interconnected systems, our industry needs to properly consider the impact each group of people has on its success. To be healthy, our industry should include and welcome people from all backgrounds. Luckily, through a blend of cultural appreciation and strategic outreach, this issue can be fixed and transformed into an opportunity for mutual growth.

The rich tapestry of the Hispanic community, threaded with traditions, linguistic preferences, and regional idiosyncrasies, is far from monolithic. Thus, a uniform approach risks missing the mark. Our industry needs to do a better job of celebrating diversity and meeting the Hispanic community where they are. Following are ways to do this.

Understanding “Comunidad”

Community is the heart of Hispanic engagement. For Hispanics, “comunidad” isn’t just a word; it’s an ethos. Nurturing this essence is vital. Hosting events in Hispanic-majority areas offers a dual benefit. It allows firsthand introduction to energy-efficient practices and establishes trust. Collaborating with local leaders and influencers, whose word holds weight, can accentuate this outreach’s impact.

Another way to reach the Hispanic community is to create advertisements that celebrate diversity. A simple advertisement can either feel alienating or welcoming, depending on its tone and content. By creating advertisements, workshops, and other outreach materials that mirror Hispanic culture, the industry can foster genuine connections.

On a related note, it’s important to understand that language is more than just words. For many Hispanics, language is an emblem of identity. Catering to both English and Spanish speakers not only amplifies reach but also affirms respect for their heritage. Incorporating bilingual platforms and fluent customer service representatives exemplifies this dedication.

Education and Collaboration

Education has the power to illuminate paths. When it comes to the energy efficiency realm, the Hispanic youth stands as an untapped reservoir of potential.

By partnering with schools and colleges in Hispanic-centric regions, the industry can instill curiosity and passion in young minds. Offering scholarships, internships, or mentorships can guide them, showcasing the industry’s investment in fostering diversity.

Additionally, partnerships with Hispanic-centric entities, be it chambers of commerce or nonprofits, can lend authenticity and expand outreach. These collaborations yield a two-fold advantage: they augment credibility and offer insights into community-specific needs.

Inclusivity and Financial Accessibility

Embracing diversity can propel innovation. A more inclusive recruitment strategy, spanning Spanish media and professional associations, can draw in a diverse talent pool. Tailored training programs can further smoothen their integration into the industry. When tailored to the Hispanic community, training programs can properly equip the community with industry-specific skills, whether it’s in installation, sales, or consultancy.

Financial accessibility is another item to consider. For many Hispanic households, initial costs of energy efficiency upgrades can be daunting. By introducing incentives, rebates, and collaborating with financial institutions, the industry can make energy-efficient solutions more approachable. Showcasing the financial prudence of these solutions through real-life Hispanic testimonials can reinforce their appeal.

Trust Building

Trust is a delicate balance because once it’s broken it’s hard to mend. By addressing misconceptions and highlighting success stories, the industry can rebuild and fortify trust with the Hispanic community. Engaging with Spanish-centric media platforms and collaborating with influential figures can amplify the industry’s message, creating waves of awareness and interest.

It’s important to remember that this relationship between the industry and the Hispanic community is a dynamic one that thrives on feedback. Creating channels for the Hispanic community to share their experiences and suggestions can provide a treasure trove of insights. Creating this feedback loop ensures that strategies evolve, staying effective, and relevant.

A Shared Vision

The journey to weave the Hispanic community into the energy efficiency narrative is paved with mutual respect, understanding, and proactive engagement. By aligning the industry’s offerings with the community’s values, we embark on a shared voyage towards a sustainable, inclusive future. As we move forward, every individual, irrespective of their roots, plays a vital role in sculpting a more environmentally conscious world.

Jose Diaz Jr.

Jose Diaz Jr. is a New Jersey resident and current director of operations for Allied Experts. He entered the trades via residential HVAC in 2000 and was introduced to building science by completing projects in various energy programs. In 2012, Jose joined Allied Experts further expanding into weatherization and acquiring training and certifications such as EPA, lead removal, BPI Analyst, and mold remediation. Along with the team at Allied Experts, Jose has championed diversity within the workforce by training male and female candidates from various backgrounds outside of the trades. This has provided the fortunate opportunity to see direct benefits of delivering improved energy efficiency, health, and environmental performance to residential homeowners, improving comfort and quality of living. Jose is also a member of the BPA Board of Directors.

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