Building Community Power through Clean Energy

BUILD is a proud organizing partner of the Community Power Project, which offers community members cleaner and more affordable energy choices. In partnership with Groundswell, and other membership organizations of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, more than 100 faith institutions, community nonprofits and labor groups, have been brought together to bargain for lower energy rates and broader community benefits like wind power.

By pooling our purchasing power, we entice energy suppliers to offer bids that are lower than any of the rates an institution could secure as a single purchaser in market. Together, we’ve purchased nearly $5 million worth of electricity as a group. Nearly 90 percent of the investment is tied to clean electricity. Most participants chose to switch to clean energy because it’s affordable. Participants saved up to 20 percent on their annual energy bills. Individual members of the participating institutions can access lower rates, too. Lowering monthly utility bills helps families channel their savings into things that really matter like their children’s education and health care needs.

Through the Community Power Project, Groundswell helps deliver meaningful savings for community organizations with strong social missions. The participating faith institutions, spanning several denominations, offer critical community service ministries that touch the lives of countless D.C. and Maryland residents in need. The purchasing group also includes nonprofits serving low-income families in the most distressed areas in the region, respected charter schools dedicated to ensuring children receive a quality education that leads them to college, and affordable housing developers.

Help us grow our market power and by expanding this opportunity. Membership organizations, community groups and building owners who would like to learn more about upcoming projects may reach Groundswell staff directly. Contact Lead Organizer for the Community Power Project Sam Witherbee at