We are pleased to announce that we kicked off our Texas Low-Income Communities Profile Series this week! This project is a sociodemographic study designed to a provide a detailed understanding of Texas low-income residents and their relationships to energy. Our 2017 Energy Poverty Research Landscape Analysis revealed that reinventing energy consumer engagement is the most glaring and broadly agreed upon opportunity to improve energy service to low-income consumers. Most studies, however, convey that not enough is known about how the power sector should effectively engage vulnerable consumers, from needs assessment to best practices in program design – this is a gap that our research aims to fill. Our areas of research focus include:
- Sociodemographic profiles
- Economic hardships
- Health hardships
- Household makeup
- Housing context
We are excited to partner with Environmental Defense Fund through their Climate Corps Fellow program and The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs running a Policy Research Project led by Dr. Heath Prince and Erik Funkhouser. We’d also like to thank Research Into Action for their support in structuring this project. With these partnerships and support from our member organizations, we’ve secured funding for 2 of our 3 project phases.
We’d like to introduce our EDF Climate Corps Fellow, Michael Reiner. Michael just completed his first year of graduate school at the University of Michigan where he is pursing a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Natural Resources and Environment. He received his bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering in 2013 from Northwestern University. He brings valuable experience to TEPRI from his graduate research with the Urban Energy Justice Research Group and master’s thesis, which explores the diffusion of energy-efficient technologies and information within cities. He will contribute to the quantitative assessment of energy poverty indicators and development of the report’s framework and objectives.