Addressing Energy Poverty Together
BLOG POST | OCTOBER 17, 2018
By: Dana Harmon, Executive Director
Our energy system is an amazingly sophisticated and constantly evolving landscape, which fundamentally affects the lives and work of every member of society.
TEPRI’s growing network is made up of folks with very different roles in that system, with different perspectives from different business models, with different goals and objectives. We represent both regulated and deregulated energy providers, service organizations, technology companies, legal and financial services and researchers. Still, we come together with a unity of purpose around addressing energy poverty. I see our role as providing current and actionable information, advising, convening and informing our stakeholders around low-income energy issues.
And for many, the concept of energy poverty is still new. Our definition is: “Energy poverty occurs when the cost of energy needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle creates a significant economic burden.” Energy should be a resource for all members of society. Not an economic burden. 37% of Texas households are considered low-income, and low-income households are more likely spend a higher percentage of annual income to cover energy costs. Finding lasting energy solutions for low-income communities is the work our members are aiming to accomplish together.
TEPRI produced a two-sided info sheet on Addressing Energy Poverty in Texas. Download it here and learn more!
This month we’ve been talking a lot about how we’re building capacity to better serve the needs of low-income Texans through clean energy. We are working to build engaged and informed networks, whose members work together to leverage traditionally siloed programs and funding sources for greater impact. We believe there are important innovation opportunities with the growing penetration of distributed energy resources that can bring significant economic, social, and environmental impacts to vulnerable households.
Ultimately, our goal is alleviating energy burdens on LMI communities which also results in a positive impact on quality of life through housing, health, education and economic opportunity.
I am excited about continuing to lead the discussion of energy poverty in Texas. If your organization is interested in joining this conversation, let me know. We have some exciting projects on the horizon. (More on that soon!) I would love to loop you in on what’s next for TEPRI in inspiring lasting energy solutions for low-income communities.