There’s been lots of news lately highlighting the opportunity (and the need) for pairing energy efficiency investments with low-income and underserved communities. More was released today: the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) shared – and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) reposted – how the relationships built at the local level are the key to connecting communities with energy savings. Use of weatherization funding was also pointed to as a key resource that can be of use in all types of residences – and a key resource for lowering the energy bill burden faced by low-income communities. ACEEE also came out with a new paper pointing to best practices in designing and implementing cost-effective and successful energy efficiency programming in light of the new national Clean Power Plan – emphasizing using local strategies to keep evaluation burdens low and make programs accessible.
EDF points to relationships and partnerships they are leveraging in Los Angeles to connect underserved and low-income communities with solar. Grid Alternatives is also offering free technical assistance for solar in multi-family housing through new offerings in California and several other states (and has contributed to the recently released Low-Income Solar Guide). The City of Oakland recently described how they are connecting with community groups growing energy and climate solutions in their neighborhoods from the bottom up.
For more resources for and EE activities in underserved communities, click here. For a breakdown of what cap and trade funds have disadvantaged community targets in the Governor’s proposed budget, click here.