Newsletter: Celebrating One Year!

Hello Friends,

TEPRI is now one year old! Thanks to all of you who have helped us to grow and learn in the past twelve months. We’ve built strong momentum with our growing membership and research network, and we are developing a solid foundation of research with our Energy Poverty Clearinghouse and Low-Income Profile Series. We are looking forward to many more years of inspiring lasting energy solutions for low-income communities in Texas and across the nation!

As we continue to understand the landscape of energy poverty, two specific
topics seem to be emerging as the most immediately relevant to our mission:
(1) energy efficiency for affordable housing, and (2) renewable energy equitability. We are seeking opportunities to develop case studies and best practices in these areas. Please let me know if you’d like to nominate specific initiatives within (or outside of) your organization that may be worth TEPRI pursuing. If your organization is interested partnering with TEPRI, we’d love to discuss how you can get involved as a member.

As always, I’d love to hear form you! Feel free to contact me anytime. 

Sincerely,

Dana Harmon, Executive Director

NEWS FROM TEPRI

Join Our Growing Research Network

TEPRI is growing our Research Network of academics and other nonprofits to partner with us on research projects, joint funding opportunities, events, co-publications and education initiatives.

We are thrilled to announce that the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) has joined our Research Network. TEPRI and the SGCC have many common goals including: serving the needs of energy consumers, encouraging the collaborative sharing of best practices in consumer engagement among industry stakeholders, and serving as a trusted source of information for industry stakeholders. We look forward to this partnership and working together with SGCC!

I am also excited to announce that we’ve joined the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Residential Network! The Better Buildings Residential Network connects energy efficient programs and partners to share best practices and learn from one another to increase the number of homes that are energy efficient. Better Buildings Residential programs and partners have invested more than $3 billion from federal funding and local resources to build more energy-efficient communities across the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is now expanding this network of residential energy efficiency programs and partners to new members. We’re pleased to be a part of this outstanding network!

DOE SunShot Challenge Selects 1AustinSol

We are excited to announce that our joint project with Austin Habitat for Humanity and 1PlanetSol was selected by the US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to expand solar access to low- and middle- income families in Austin and the broader Texas region with an innovative market-driven business model. Learn more about the project here!

HAPPENING NOW

Webinar Preview of Energy Poverty Clearinghouse

We are proud to be very near publication of our first white paper, the Energy Poverty Research Landscape Analysis, to be released later this month. For a preview of these findings, I will be speaking at a public webinar this Tuesday, May 2 from 4:00 — 5:00pm Central. Joining me to present a preview of our white paper will be Erik Funkhousersenior consultant for Research Into ActionThe lecture is part of the Next Generation Photovolatics series, and the webinar will be posted on the Next Generation Photovoltaics website just before the webinar.

Launching our Texas Low-Income Profile Series

As I mentioned last month, we’ve developed a concept paper for our next research priority, the Texas Low-Income Profile Series. This project was identified by our Research Advisory Committee (RAC) with the aim of improving our understanding of low-income consumers in the changing energy marketplace. Thank you to our Academic Advisory Network and members for your feedback on this project. The key data collection areas supporting this report will be: Sociodemographic Profile, Economic Hardships, Health Hardships, Household Makeup, and Housing Context.

Launching this summer, the four phases of this project include:

  • Phase One – Summer 2017: Primary Utility Interviews and Due Diligence Data Analysis. This initial phase will provide the project framework. Thank you to TEPRI member EDF for awarding TEPRI a 2017 EDF Climate Corp Fellow who will support this phase of research.

  • Phase Two – Fall 2017: Survey Design and Primary Data Collection.  The survey will include substantive questions to define low-income resident profiles and the data collected will reflect the variety of demographic and sociographic groups, and geographic boundaries in Texas.
  • Phase Three – Fall 2017 & Spring 2018: Data Analysis and Reporting. We are pleased to partner with the University of Texas’ LBJ PRP Program under the direction of Professor Heath Prince, PhD for this phase of research. Joined by a team of graduate students, we will perform the data evaluation, in-depth interviews, and segment reporting.

  • Phase Four – Summer 2018: GIS Integration. In our final phase, the project’s data will be loaded into ArcViewGIS to produce an interactive web-based tool which will permit localized perspectives on the salient aspects of LMI consumer profiles. This tool will be made available to stakeholders for research purposes through TEPRI’s website.

We are actively seeking funding and additional partners for this project. If you are interested in getting involved, I would love to visit with you!

SPOTLIGHT ON

Direct Energy debuted their film Choice to Choose in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the launch of Texas’ competitive electric market. Featured in this film is TEPRI Founder and Board Member Becky Klein.

CPS Energy was featured on the SGCC Webinar: Customer Engagement Success Stories.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

    • TACAA Annual Conference — May 10-12, 2017 in Austin, TX Thank you to TEPRI Board Member Stella Rodriguez for inviting us to join. If you’re interested in attending you can register online here!
    • Network for Energy, Water, and Health in Affordable Buildings (NEWHAB) — May 23-25 in New Orleans, LA Check out the agenda here!
    • National Energy & Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC) — June 26-28, 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL The NEUAC conference will be an exciting opportunity to convene with others nationwide who are focused on reducing energy burdens. Follow at @the NEUAC