Our 2017 Energy Poverty Research Landscape Analysis revealed that reinventing energy consumer engagement is the most glaring and broadly agreed upon opportunities to improve energy service to low-income consumers. Most studies, however, convey that not enough is known about how the power sector should effectively engage vulnerable consumers, from needs assessment to program design – this is a gap that our research aims to fill. Our Texas Low-Income Community Profile Series is designed to a provide a detailed understanding of Texas low-income residents and their relationships to energy.
Objective: We intend to frame future strategic decision-making process for stakeholders in Texas – utilities, regulators, policy makers, non-profits, and service providers – in order to:
- Facilitate implementation of best practices
- Reduce barriers to customer outreach and educate stakeholders
- Increase the effectiveness of residential programs; including energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, demand side management, etc.
- Evaluate current legislative and regulatory policies as well as other ERCOT market opportunities to better address energy poverty issues
- Clearly define the LMI market needs to encourage technology innovation
Methodology: TEPRI is conducting primary quantitative and qualitative research, supported by analysis of existing data sets to identify the fixed characteristics and dynamic qualities of low-income Texans, and to understand how they interact with the retail energy sector. Our areas of research focus include sociodemographic profiles, economic hardships, health hardships, household makeup, and housing context.
Time Horizon: Summer 2017 – Fall 2018