Partner Spotlight: Center for Sustainable Communities

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Virginia Energy Sense recently connected with Garry Harris, the president of the Center for Sustainable Communities, to learn how the nonprofit is advocating for and building greener, more energy-efficient, and more climate resilient communities. The exchange has been lightly edited for clarity.

Tell us a little about the Center for Sustainable Communities.

The Center for Sustainable Communities is a BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color]-led and founded nonprofit that helps build greener, cleaner, and healthier communities that are safer for residents to live, work, and play in through projects, activities, and initiatives related to equity and environmental justice.

The center works on a broad array of issues, including energy and climate, sustainable cities and communities, transportation, housing, waste and materials management, education, and workforce development.

How does the Center for Sustainable Communities help Virginians reduce their energy consumption?

The Center for Sustainable Communities helps Virginians reduce their energy use in several ways,
including through:

  • Outreach, education, and awareness
  • Appliance change-out programs
  • Advancing heat pumps and retrofitting initiatives
  • Advancing clean energy, including communityscale solar
  • Conducting healthy home assessments
  • Building a clean-energy workforce
  • Supporting clean-energy and energy-efficiency research

How can Virginians get involved with the Center for Sustainable Communities?

Virginians can support the Center for Sustainable Communities in a variety of ways, including volunteering, providing technical help, assisting with strategic planning, and partnership building. If interested, please email me at