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Meet Angie Bivens, An Agent of Change

Angela “Angie” Bivens grew up on the Eastern Shore. Her story began in tragedy as a young, unemployed mom who had to escape an unhealthy relationship with three young children, one of which was a terminally ill newborn. One of the most difficult challenges she recalls from this situation was finding resources to assist her when her utilities were shut off. “In the midst of navigating the assistance available, I found a talent for helping those in the community,” recalls Angie.

By: Macie Melendez

A graphic of a quote by Angie Bivens

Angela “Angie” Bivens grew up on the Eastern Shore. Her story began in tragedy as a young, unemployed mom who had to escape an unhealthy relationship with three young children, one of which was a terminally ill newborn. One of the most difficult challenges she recalls from this situation was finding resources to assist her when her utilities were shut off. “In the midst of navigating the assistance available, I found a talent for helping those in the community,” recalls Angie.

After a few jobs at nonprofits assisting others, one of Angie’s mentors in the energy efficiency industry saw her talent and recommended her for a role as an Energy Educator. This role catapulted Angie into energy efficiency where she was able to focus on empowering others and inspiring positive change.

Today, Angie is an Outreach Manger for Franklin Energy Services, LLC. Franklin Energy delivers turnkey energy efficiency programs for more than 60 utility and government partners across the US and Canada. Their integrated in-house services provide deep personalization and insights, helping their energy partners achieve their carbon-reduction and energy productivity goals.

Angie is very passionate about her work. “My current position allows me to educate thousands of families and individuals per year about ways to save money and take control of their energy usage,” she says. In her role, she’s responsible for the outreach to the residential programs. This includes giving short presentations to interested individuals and partners, hosting a table at events in the community, and attending any opportunities to share program information. Through humorous and interactive workshops, Angie is able to initiate change and offer sustainable solutions to adults and children.

One of Angie’s main focuses in community outreach is empowering Delawareans through these workshops. In order to educate a diverse audience, the program has multiple types of workshops available for both adults and children. The customizable workshops are mobile and can be brought to any community, but they are focused on assisting the low-moderate income (LMI) communities. Workshop topics all include information about do-it-yourself energy conservation measures and tips for the household. The workshops also provide information about energy-saving resources and available rebates for energy efficient home improvements. At the conclusion of the workshop, Delaware attendees can complete a survey to receive a free weatherization kit that’s mailed to their home.

One of Franklin Energy’s state energy partners is the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU)—a unique nonprofit organization offering a complete set of resources through its Energize Delaware initiative to help people and organizations save money through clean energy and efficiency. In addition to the workshops, Angie helps design and manage Energize Delaware’s Home Energy Check-up and Counseling program, known as HEC2. This program is a LMI home check-up program that provides in-home energy education, energy resources, and energy saving measures installed all at no charge. Throughout the state, Angie partners with numerous nonprofit agencies, utility companies, and others to deliver these services.

Since 2019, Angie has also been the host and producer of a live, bimonthly video series initiated by Energize Delaware. These videos cover local energy-related programs, energy efficiency tips, and other industry news. Past guests have included Energy Star representatives, weatherization experts, and even the Lt. Governor of Delaware.

During the Summer of 2022, Energize Delaware piloted a Junior Energy Auditor Workshop through the HEC2 program. This mobile workshop was available to summer programs, schools, nonprofits, daycare centers, and community organizations for children 8-13 years old. The 1-hour format is designed to educate children on ways to save energy and introduce them to the job of an energy auditor. At the conclusion of the workshop, each child received a goodie bag with additional kid-friendly giveaways, local college info about energy degree programs, and an information packet for parents. Over 115 children were educated through workshops hosted by the NeighborGood Partners (formerly NCALL), Delaware Interfaith Power & Light, St. Elizabeth Elementary, Smyrna Boys & Girls Club school site, and the Laurel Boys & Girls Club.

Photo of children in a classroom setting

According to Angie, the goal of energy efficiency awareness is to motivate change in individuals. Following are a few of Angie’s tips for encouraging this change:

  • Be creative in your outreach to grab the attention of those interested (i.e., bright colors, catchy messaging, giveaways)
  • Once you have their attention, give a relatable reason for energy efficiency (i.e., decrease bill amount, save money, warmer home)
  • Use giveaway and promotional items that are energy efficient or a reminder of energy efficiency (i.e., nightlights, “turn off light” light switch sticker, tips brochure)

After all of her hard work over the years, Angie has learned some valuable lessons. “Remember that energy is a necessity for everyone, but for those on a fixed income, it is a large burden,” she says. As a result of this, adding energy efficiency awareness to outreach should be very important to any organization working in LMI communities.

Meet the Author

Smiling photo of Macie Melendez

Macie Melendez

Editor in Chief, Building Performance Journal

Macie Melendez is Editor In Chief at the Building Performance Journal. In this role, she oversees the entire online publication. The Editor In Chief is responsible for managing all content and ushering each blog, article, and sponsored content through the full process from content acquisition and editing to final publication. She previously worked at the former Home Energy magazine where she started as Assistant Editor and worked her way up to Executive Editor before pursuing a freelance writing career.

Macie has been a writer and editor for two decades, working in various mediums from print magazines and newspapers to online education and script writing. She is passionate about the written word and helping the planet—even if that comes in the form of editing. Macie holds a BA degree in English from San Diego State University.

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