In 2020, TEPRI developed a state-wide Coalition to explore and launch cross-collaboration opportunities that maximize the impacts from dispersed funding sources to create clean energy opportunities that aid in the COVID-19 response and economic recovery efforts and beyond. The goal of the Coalition is to result in pre-development of “shovel-ready” projects in anticipation of COVID-19 economic recovery stimulus funding packages. The coalition will consist of key stakeholders including state partners, regulators, utilities, low-income and environmental organizations, and other interested parties. The coalition will come together to develop recommendations around equitable clean energy participation and deployment through facilitated working sessions that lead to collaboration, objective alignment, and data-driven, evidence-based decision making and action.
- Unemployment associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has created a concerning new wave of energy insecurity among Texans.
- A large percentage of low-income households across the state experienced difficulty paying their electric bills (30-55% of low-income households depending on the region).
- Households make difficult trade-offs to afford their electricity bills, with 29% of survey respondents saying that they delay or skip spending on food.
- Many Americans have no financial buffer. As reported by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, almost 40% of Americans do not have the resources to afford an unexpected $400 expense. With little cushion to absorb the economic shock of the COVID-19 crisis, many households are turning to food banks, community action agencies, and charitable organizations for help.
- This crisis is likely to leave many low-income households with a very deep economic burden that includes several months’ worth of energy bills, among other deferred bills, at some point in the future.
These problems presented an opportunity to plan now for long-term solutions that help reduce the economic burden of residential energy use, and an organized and effective network of stakeholders is required to enable solution development with high likelihood of adoption.
We believe an organized effort, informed by research, pairing rigorous data analysis with cross-sector stakeholder engagement (those working at federal, state, and local levels, utility representatives, direct service providers, and community organizations together) can advance the programs and offerings and solution development to make meaningful impacts towards innovations to scale and create opportunities for underserved communities through clean energy in Texas and beyond.
The Energy Opportunities Collective is organized to systemically tackle the issues related to household energy economics in Texas which are most relevant to each participating stakeholder.
- Building Optimization and DERs – This working group is expanding TEPRI’s efforts around DERs in Affordable Housing, and exploring opportunities around energy efficiency, rooftop and community solar, home electrification, and demand response and smart home technologies.
- Mobility – The mobility working group is developing recommendations to bring electrified transportation options to vulnerable communities through public transit and access to light-duty electric vehicles.
- Energy and Health – The energy and health nexus is exploring topics such as the connection between COVID-19 infection and pollution, as well as energy-related impacts on indoor air quality and the health implications.
The objective of each working group is to develop both recommendations and potential projects that create opportunities for underserved communities through energy utilizing data-driven and evidence-based research from TEPRI and other research and academic institutions.
Nominated by the TEPRI Board of Directors, members and leadership, the Coalition is composed of four Steering Committee Members and over 40 Advisory Group Members. Interested in getting involved in the EOC in the future? Learn more here.
Access the meeting schedule of the Coalition for 2020-2021 here.
This work is made possible through the generous support of The Energy Foundation.
Coalition Updates & Reports
TEPRI will be releasing a series of reports and summaries from the work of the Coalition. Learn more below.