Elevate Energy Blog

On Energy Efficiency Day, We Celebrate Energy Equity

October 5, 2017 is the second annual national Energy Efficiency Day. We’re joining a growing network of advocates, companies, government agencies, utilities, and others who are showcasing the benefits of energy efficiency.

What does energy efficiency mean to us?

You’ve heard it before: Our mission is smarter energy use for all. But what exactly does this mean? Smarter energy use means we don’t have to generate as much power to meet our needs. But to us, smarter energy use is really about the “for all” – it’s about energy equity.

  • Energy equity is actual savings. We support initiatives in our backyard like the Micro Market Recovery Program, which delivers energy efficiency and water savings upgrades to families who pay a large percentage of their income on housing and utilities. The result is that they can put that money toward their future, like paying off a mortgage or saving for college. It also means more cushion for basic necessities like groceries or co-pays at the doctor.
  • Energy equity is jobs. We’ve retrofitted 32,000 apartment units and we’re expanding our vision nationwide. We support and train local contractors to more effectively market and expand their energy efficiency businesses, so that they find more work and hire more people. And we do this with an emphasis on contractor diversity. (More on this to come!)
  • Energy equity is understanding the needs of a community. To reach underserved households, we need to know more about them. So, we apply something we’re very good at—research and data—to better understand the unique barriers facing these communities. In Michigan, we quantified the energy efficiency opportunity to create a set of tools that will help Michigan bring equity into the state’s energy future.
  • Energy equity is collaboration and getting the right people in the same room. We fill an important gap for community-based organizations and affordable housing providers by providing technical assistance and program implementation. We work with governments to promote smarter energy policies that direct more investment in low-income communities.Eya Louis Energy Efficiency Day 2016
  • Energy equity is innovation. We employ community-organizing tactics like “house parties,” we connect with other industries, like real estate, and we partner with utilities to offer innovative financial tools to help people take control of energy payments. To make sure everyone has access to the benefits of a clean energy economy, like renters or condo-owners, we pilot new concepts like community solar.
  • Energy equity means charting your own story. We want you to feel empowered to choose to participate in hourly pricing programs, to adopt simple behavior changes to use less energy, or to try out neat gadgets that boost savings. We want kids and adults to really understand how to leverage the potential of the smart grid, right in their own homes.

What drives our work is an ambitious but achievable goal: to leverage the nation’s transition to a clean energy economy to bring energy cost savings and clean energy jobs to underserved communities. But what all of this really means is people. It means designing meaningful programs that bring real benefits to you.

Please join us in celebrating Energy Efficiency Day October 5 and every day! Learn more about Energy Efficiency Day at www.energyefficiencyday.org. Let us know what energy equity means to you—join the conversation at #EEDay2017.