The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is the national association for community health centers, advocating and promoting quality, affordable health care services for over 30 million Americans. Climate action is an unavoidable part of community health centers’ work to serve under-resourced communities, on the front-line of the impacts.
The article, “The First Net-Zero Energy Health Center in the US is Here,” explores the efforts of the Pueblo Community Health Center (PCHC) in Pueblo, Colorado, as it works towards the city’s goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2023.
“Pueblo, Colorado, has historically been reliant on industries like steel and mining to stay economically afloat. However, these industries create toxic pollutants such as lead and mercury that threaten human health. Pueblo’s industrial activity takes place near neighborhoods where residents are primarily people of color or people with limited income, placing them at higher risk. Against this backdrop is a visionary plan by Pueblo City and county leaders who set a goal to have Pueblo completely phase out fossil fuels and run on 100% renewable energy power by 2035.”“Pueblo Community Health Center (PCHC) has become a leader in helping the city and county achieve this goal. In 2020, PCHC decided to turn the East Side Clinic into the first net-zero energy health center site in the United States. A zero-net energy building produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements. A combination of high-performance fiberglass windows to reduce solar gain (or when the sun’s rays increase the building temperature), efficient lighting, geothermal energy, and solar panels on the roof and parking lot carport have contributed to the East Side Clinic’s zero-net energy status.”
NACHC is a Climate for Health partner and has developed a custom Ambassador Training for community health center providers and staff. Start the training today, using the code NACHC.
About the Author
Sweta Waghela, Health Equity Fellow, Climate for Health