In this new series, we will introduce members of the OR-MEP team each month. This month’s spotlight is on Dan Elliott, Senior Policy Analyst with the OHCS Housing Stabilization Division.
Dan is OHCS’ agency lead and primary expert on the development and prioritization of energy efficiency and clean energy efforts for affordable housing and low-income energy programs.
What motivates you in this role?
I have had the privilege of serving the low-income weatherization program efforts for more than 25 years. This program cuts across all political and ideological boundaries and it does what every society wants to do: and that is help. Anyone who looks at low-income energy efficiency programs recognizes that these programs improve lives. These programs have value beyond energy cost savings. It is not just the low-income households that benefit, their communities as well as the planet benefit from reducing the national energy burden. This is good for people, the economy and the environment. This gets me up each day with a sense of urgency, both knowing the value and impact of this work and the realization that we have only just begun.
What excites you most about the Oregon Multifamily Energy Program?
Helping people and making an impact as I mentioned before, as well as working with program implementer TRC and hearing about the great experiences customers are having.
What challenges have you seen this program overcome?
The program had a limited reach in its market to developers. The understanding of the critical role OR-MEP plays in affordable housing has been increased dramatically. In its first year of the new program design, it has tripled the number of units reached from the previous year. These are the highest numbers since 2006 and I couldn’t be more pleased to increase our reach to low-income Oregonians.
What is one fun fact about you that you think people would love to know?
I am not sure “speaks French” is a fun fact, but maybe that I like to watch Star Wars in French might sound more fun? I’m a bit of a Star Wars nerd. I love pop culture.
What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to in Oregon?
So many to choose from! And so many adventures. I will share one of my favorites, a bit reluctantly, but if you can commit to the journey and manage to navigate to this location, you will understand why. The Owyhee Canyonlands toward the end of summer—and in the spring during snow melt. Three Forks Hot Springs. It is an ancient cut of rock and water that is rich with Oregon history. Skies are beautiful on a clear night. Pronghorn, Rocky Mountain goat, Bighorn sheep, spring black bear and the countless Chukar calling to one another make this a part of the state a place most Oregonians do not get to experience.