Energy Equity Is Important For Every Member Of Society
Friends of TEPRI,
As we celebrate Black History Month this month, I’m reminded of how far we’ve come in advancement of social equity, and I’m encouraged by the progress we see happening nationally by the energy sector on this front. Energy equity is important for every member of society, and every day many of you are on the front lines providing direct services and solutions. We are well aware that low-income households and people of color are disproportionately burdened by the cost of energy as a percentage of income. In this newsletter, and in our upcoming release of our Energy Poverty Clearinghouse, we highlight resources that show advancements across the country to improve energy equity. We hope you find these resources useful and are interested to hear how they may be incorporated into your work.
We are proud to announce that TEPRI is growing and hope you will join us in welcoming our newest members and staff. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if we may of assistance to you as we work together to inspire lasting energy solutions for low-income communities.
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS
EnerChoice is a Texas company whose mission is to assist utilities and their customers in increasing their energy efficiency. We can’t wait to work together in our quest for sustainable energy solutions.
Phil Audet, Founder and Principal at EnerChoice, describes the partnership with TEPRI as “a great way to increase the awareness of electric utility programs that are directed toward multi-family housing.”
Quantum New Energy
Quantum New Energy is a developer of a consumer energy platform that allows people and businesses to make informed decisions about energy. We are very excited to partner with them.
“We are proud to partner with TEPRI in its ongoing efforts to improve the lives of low-income Texans through energy awareness,” said Patricia Vega, Chief Executive Officer of Quantum New Energy.
Why Join TEPRI?
TEPRI conducts research focused on energy and fuel poverty and facilitates deeper understanding of the causes, impact, and solutions thereof. We seek collaborative relationships with energy and poverty stakeholders and other reputable organizations through membership to partner with TEPRI and advance our work to alleviate energy burdens. Learn about our new Membership Opportunities.
NEWS FROM TEPRI
Energy Poverty Clearinghouse Launching This Spring
TEPRI’s Energy Poverty Clearinghouse is in its final stage of development. We are currently user-testing with our members in anticipation of our full launch later this spring. We are very grateful to the State Energy Conservation Office and the UT Energy Institute for their support and partnership on this initiative.
This comprehensive portal of information on publications, studies and other resources specific to the topic of energy and poverty in Texas will be a seminal “go-to” source to inform our members, stakeholders and the general public on all the trending issues, technologies and services related to low-income energy burdens in America.
If you are interested in previewing the site as a tester, please let us know.
TEPRI Working Groups
TEPRI working groups are designed to leverage collective experience and expertise of diverse membership to identify challenges and solutions specific to different topics. The Research Advisory Committee (RAC)and the Energy and Housing Advisory Committee are currently underway.
The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) provides an opportunity for members to collaborate on research opportunities through TEPRI and workshop innovations at the peer-to-peer level.
The Energy and Housing Advisory Committees connect energy and housing stakeholders to identify barriers and generate solutions to increased penetration of energy efficiency and solar in affordable housing.
Coming soon is the Texas Low-Income Energy Program Coalition. This group will explore cross-collaboration opportunities to maximize impacts from federal, state, utility, housing, and philanthropic funding sources and programs through collaboration, objective alignment, and data driven, evidence-based decision making.
If you would like to participate in any of these groups, please contact us to discuss membership!
NEW ENERGY POVERTY DATA AVAILABLE
2018 National Energy Assistance Survey Results
An independent study commissioned by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA) has found that 6 million low-income households need more help to pay their utility bills. Consistent with what we encounter at TEPRI, more than a third of those households involved trade-offs such that respondents went without another basic necessity in order to pay their energy bills.
To keep up with energy costs, 36% of respondents went at least a day without food, 41% went without medical or dental care, and 31% did not fill a prescription or took less than the prescribed dose in the past five years.
Webinar: “What Coop Leaders Need to Know About Low-Income Access to Solar”
Last month, TEPRI was able to speak on the Cooperative Leadership Network’s (CLN) webinar “What Co-op Leaders Need to Know About Low-Income Access to Solar” where we discussed how solar can address energy burdens for low-income communities. We presented alongside experts from Vote Solar and the Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI).
This was a great webinar that offered a ton of information for anyone interested in learning about how solar can address energy burdens for low-income communities. If you weren’t able to attend but would like to view the recording, click here. If you would like to view the presentation slides, click here.
OUR TEAM IS GROWING
We are very excited to welcome two new staff members to our team!
Jacquie Moss joins TEPRI as a Research Fellow. She recently returned to Austin after 20 years in the Bay Area where she ran a digital design company. She holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco with an emphasis on energy resources and geospatial analysis. We are grateful for her expertise in research, analysis, and data visualization and look forward to sharing her contributions.
Alexa Nizam joins TEPRI as a Communications and Market Research Intern. Alexa is a senior in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She will be contributing to ongoing communications efforts and supporting Jacquie in her research. We thank BBVA Compass for their partial sponsorship of Alexa’s role through the Lonestar Grant that was awarded to TEPRI this spring from TACDC.
What We’re Reading
- Utility Dive: “Three ways utilities can better engage low-income customers”
- The Next System Project: “A next system of community investment: Community Reinvestment Act reform in the 21st century”
- CESA: “Design and Implementation of Community Solar Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income Customers”
- Texas Monthly: “A California Experiment Could Shape Texas Electricity Rates”
- EDF: This stereotype is holding back the environmental movement
- Gizmodo: This AI Just Mapped Every Solar Panel in the United States
- US DOE: Low-Income Household Energy Burden Varies Among States — Efficiency Can Help In All of Them
- Solar Industry Mag: PosiGen Secures Financing To Grow Low-Income Residential Solar
- ACEEE: The gift that keeps giving: energy efficiency produces value year after year