Frequently Asked Questions for Organizations

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What is the EDF Climate Corps program all about?

If improving building energy efficiency were as simple as flipping a switch, it would be easy for large organizations to cash in on cost savings and emission reductions. Unfortunately, limited resources, information gaps, and organizational barriers often prevent organizations, with their tremendous energy use, from taking advantage of smart energy investments. EDF Climate Corps can help.

Through EDF's Climate Corps program, Environmental Defense Fund matches top-tier graduate students with companies, universities, and other organizations to save money and reduce emissions by cutting energy waste. Over the course of 10-12 weeks during the summer, EDF fellows work on the ground in their host organizations to develop a concrete, actionable plan tailored to each host's specific energy needs and opportunities.

See results from past fellowships

How long is the fellowship?

EDF Climate Corps fellowships are a minimum of 10 weeks between May and September. The exact weeks will depend on the individual fellow's school schedule.

What is the organization's HR commitment?

The fellow will be working onsite at the host organization during their 10-12 week fellowship and will need an HR contact, a direct manager, a higher-level sponsor, a workstation, a telephone, a desk, security access, etc.

Typically, host organizations onboard their fellows as “interns” or “term employees”. Ultimately, It is up to host organization to work with their HR department to figure out best way to classify and work with their fellows. There is no expectation by EDF Climate Corps to provide benefits in addition to the fellow salary.

How will EDF train the fellows?

EDF will host a 4-day training in late May, which includes a copy of the Climate Corps Handbook. Details, including last year's agenda, can be found on the Fellow Training page. There will also be opportunities to interact with EDF experts throughout the summer when specific questions arise.

Why is it important for the organization to have planned an energy audit?

It is our experience that energy audits take months to schedule and months to complete. The EDF Climate Corps fellow will not have the technical training to perform an energy audit.
If no energy audit has been performed, EDF will ask the fellow have access to the appropriate data and internal enegineers with the capacity to identify efficiency upgrades. The EDF Climate Corps fellow will analyze the identified efficiency measures and make the financial case for making the investments.

What if the host organization wants to expand the scope of the fellowship?

The majority of fellowships are designed to focus on analyzing and facilitating energy efficiency investments. Fellows are chosen for their ability to do financial analyses, project-manage and help facilitate organizational change. Fellows can also work on site to advance their host organization’s performance in the following areas:


  • Cost-saving project identification and implementation
  • Data analysis and energy information systems
  • Employee engagement and behavior change
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Energy Management Strategy
  • Demand response


Some past fellows have had adequate time to augment their workplans with additional initiatives beyond identifying and analyzing energy efficiency investments.

What support will the host organizations receive?

EDF will host an orientation call at the beginning of the summer and 2 check-in calls during the program for hosts. EDF will provide each fellow with an EDF Project Manager for support during the summer.

What will EDF provide?

EDF will:

  • Recruit and interview qualified and interested graduate students
  • Train and support the fellow throughout the 10-12 week fellowship
  • Provide each fellow with the Climate Corps Handbook, a how-to guide on identifying and analyzing energy efficiency investments in office buildings
  • Aggregate and analyze dollars invested and saved, along with the energy saved, through the EDF Climate Corps program
  • Publicize the participation of host organizations in our marketing materials
  • Be available for follow-up consultations for one year after fellowship completion

What do participating organizations need to provide?

Host organizations will:

  • Provide a dedicated high-level project sponsor for the fellow, as well as a dedicated manager
  • Make relevant records and information available to the fellow (e.g. energy bills, purchase records, facilities records, etc.)
  • Ensure the fellow has adequate support from relevant departments, such as facilities, IT, and purchasing
  • Invest in a building energy audit
  • Execute the investment plan presented by the fellow, where feasible
  • Continue to track energy use on a ongoing basis
  • Provide Environmental Defense Fund with updates on investments and implementation of energy efficiency measures six months and 18 months after the fellowship is complete

See more details for organizations

What are some sample outcomes of the program?

All case studies can be found here.

How will EDF be using the final reports and the information presented in them?

The aggregate results of th EDF Climate Corps program will be made public in order to maximize both environmental and business benefits. However, EDF will not refer to any organization’s specific program or results publicly without prior written approval.
EDF’s objective is to demonstrate that energy efficiency saves energy and saves organizations money. EDF staff will follow-up with the host organizations to find out whether identified measures are implemented and the resulting energy savings achieved. Over time, EDF will aggregate results to give an overall picture of how much energy and money organizations can save through energy efficiency. EDF will also take salient stories and anecdotes from the fellow's reports to further the case for energy efficiency.

Who can attend the training?

While we would love to be able to train everyone on the ins and outs of energy efficiency, as of now we are only able to provide a training program for EDF Climate Corps fellows. Please view our Climate Corps Handbook for detailed information about the energy efficiency areas covered in our training.

How do I get my organization involved?

Applications for 2015 are now being accepted. Click here to apply.