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The CPUC's Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan serves as both a commitment to furthering principles of environmental and social justice as well as an operative framework with which to integrate ESJ considerations throughout the agency's work. The action plan serves as an example of how overarching ESJ goals can improve equity outcomes.
For low-income customers, energy bills as a portion of income are three times higher than for the average customer. The shift to customer energy solutions like solar and batteries, smart homes and high-efficiency equipment is an exciting trend. But it is also expanding this equity gap because low-income customers cannot afford the capital expenses of these technologies so they cannot realize the benefits. Utilities have been running various forms of energy assistance and low-income programs for decades, but the need is outpacing the current program capacity. Utilities can optimize the impact of their programs, without massive budget increases, by using data-driven strategies for program planning, design and delivery.
30 Million Solar Homes: A Vision for an Equitable Economic Recovery Built on Climate Protection and Energy Democracy
This document explores policies and programs as tools to create equitable economic recovery by deploying distributed solar energy to serve the equivalent of 1 in 4 american househomes, particularly in low-income, BIPOC, and frontline communities.
This article investigates the regulators role in helping the power sector solve the cost of equity conundrum. The article recognizes that inequities are baked into the system and if they are not addressed, they will likely become worse. The article investigates the higher additional costs of solving these issues and how we can grapple with paying for these extra expenses.
This framework document is advised by and evolved from the longstanding efforts of BIPOCled organizations and leaders. This document highlights existing work by BIPOC-led organizations and provides guidance for local government staff who are shaping building policies and programs. The intended audience for this framework is all local government staff whose work engages with building practices.
This ESG report releases by Portland General Electric highlights their efforts on advancing Environmental, social, and governance best practices.
This article investigates the intersection of Electricity and Equity issues and the role that public power utilities play in that dynamic.
This article aims to summarize the report Advancing Equity in Utility Regulation (line 11 in this spreadsheet)
Centering Equity with Metrics: How to Incorporate Equity and Justice in Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification
Historically marginalized and/or excluded communities experience disproportionate harms from our energy system. Research has shown that the harmful environmental impacts of the energy system are more likely to be concentrated in communities of color, and that these same communities are more likely to experience higher energy burdens causing them to spend more income on energy bills than the average household. Energy efficiency programs have the ability to help combat these injustices, if policymakers and program implementers take steps to center equity in program design and implementation. Energy equity in energy efficiency programs means providing equal access to the benefits of energy efficiency programs and meeting customers where they are by designing programs that meet the needs of various communities. Expanding the objectives of energy efficiency programs to include energy equity will require changes in how programs are designed, executed, and evaluated. This report will look specifically at how program changes in the evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) process can center equity in design. EM&V will be an important tool in centering equity because it relies on the collection and analysis of metrics or data to measure program success. Data is important because it illustrates policy decisions with numbers and helps hold programs and institutions accountable in new ways. This report provides six ways that policy makers and program administrators can identify, embed, and evaluate progress towards energy equity in energy efficiency programs through the evaluation, measurement, and verification process: 1. Creating a Process for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement 2. Identifying Disparities with an Equity Gap Analysis 3. Adjusting for Equity in Cost-Benefit Analysis 4. Identifying Equity-Centered Tracking Metrics 5. Creating Equity-Centered Program Goals 6. Performance Incentives that Align with Equity Priorities
In this, our first Clean Energy Implementation Plan (CEIP), Puget Sound Energy (PSE) moves further and faster to a carbon-neutral future than ever before. PSE recognizes the urgent nature of our climate crisis and seeks to be part of the solution to build an equitable clean energy future. We will achieve carbon neutrality in our electric supply portfolio by 2030, consistent with state law, and reach 100 percent renewable or non-emitting electric supply by 2045, if not sooner. This 2021 CEIP describes PSE’s initial plan to implement the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) for 2022–2025. It charts new directions in our electricity supply, includes new voices in the process, and seeks to achieve affordable, clean electricity, and an electric supply that benefits our customers and reduces burdens on our vulnerable customers. It also reflects stakeholder input and feedback that resulted in substantive changes between the draft and final plan. This first CEIP is an important milestone in PSE’s efforts to address climate change and reach our aspirational goal to be a beyond net-zero carbon company by 2045.
In February 2021 ACEEE kicked off our two-year Leading with Equity Initiative, with the goal of defining and driving toward equitable energy efficiency policy and programs at the state, local, and utility levels. To this end, initiative team members from ACEEE, Kinetic Communities Consulting, and Applied Economics Clinic engaged in a collaborative process through two cohorts—one of community-based organizations (CBOs) and advocates, and one of utilities and energy efficiency program implementers—to identify metrics that capture progress toward deployment of energy efficiency policies and programs that are inclusive and prioritize equity.1 The initiative aimed to ensure CBOs and disinvested community interests are represented in and driving development of improved equity-centered metrics for ACEEE scorecards while also increasing our understanding of current utility, state, and city capacity to report on desired metrics, including barriers and leverage points.
Driving Equity: Policy Solutions to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption in Lower-Income Communities
Even with significant state rebates and lower total ownership costs driven by cheaper fueling and maintenance, new electric vehicles often are out of reach for lower-income residents. Lower-income Californians are less likely to have access to the capital necessary to buy new electric vehicles (with higher upfront costs than conventional vehicles), as well as access to charging stations and information on zero-emission vehicle benefits and incentive programs. To address this challenge, UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) and UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment convened experts in December 2021 to develop recommendations for policy action. Their ideas informed this report.
Having abundant and affordable access to transportation affects an individual's ability to live a healthy and fulfilling life. To date, a majority of carshare models have been implemented in urban, affluent areas, and have not focused on electric vehicles (EVs). Recently, Forth has developed and tested a variety of EV car share programs, with the goal of identifying and understanding best practices and challenges associated with implementing these programs in underserved locations, specifically in low-income and rural areas. In this paper, we will share the design and results to date of several of these programs, as well as a framework for designing a carshare program.
Subsidizing greenhouse-gas-reducing consumer products is politically popular, but recent literature on subsides ignore effects on product entry and interactions with other climate policies. This paper considers welfare and distributional effects of subsidies for electric vehicles. I compare subsidy scenarios using a new equilibrium model of the US new vehicles market that endogenizes vehicle entry and accounts for interactions among subsidies and other policies. Income-based subsidies are more effective and more equitable than uniform subsidies. Accounting for interactions with other policies substantially reduces estimated efficacy and increases progressivity of income-based subsidies.
For many living in the U.S., limited access to transportation and disproportionate exposure to emissions are barriers stemming from policies that discriminate on the basis of race. Electric transportation programs can address these challenges. Partnerships between racial equity advocates and environmental organizations are vital to ensure that such programs are successful. Together, Forth and the Greenlining Institute created the Towards Equitable Electric Mobility (TEEM) Community of Practice, with the goal to build the capacity for equity-focused and traditional organizations to work together more effectively on transportation electrification at the state level.
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide a hands-on resource for your city or region to develop a community engagement work plan for building electrification with equity as a lens. It is designed for both city officials developing building electrification policies and programs, as well as, community-led organizations and climate justice organizations who can partner with cities and towns and become key leaders in the process of community outreach, engagement and strategy development. Working together, city officials and community led organizations can jointly develop strategies, actions and policy recommendations that advance effective equitable climate solutions.
The wave of transportation electrification is on the horizon. With millions of personal and commercial electric vehicles set to hit U.S. roads in the coming decade, that wave may be more like a tsunami. Merging the transportation and electricity sectors has the potential to fundamentally transform how customers fuel vehicles and how goods are transported across the country. It will introduce new dynamics. It will involve myriad stakeholders across the sectors. It will redefine relationships, introduce new partnerships, and require new thinking. Electric vehicles offer exciting opportunities with numerous environmental and economic benefits, but change isn’t always easy and the road ahead will have many twists and turns. The report documents stakeholder perspectives on the many facets of the transition to electrified transportation and its integration with the electric grid.