The community-based organizations (CBOs) serving and working alongside marginalized communities are often at the forefront of advocating for equitable energy policies and programs. For several years, ACEEE has convened the energy democracy working group, composed of seven diverse CBOs. By collaborating with this group, ACEEE is capturing the perspectives of professionals working directly with underserved communities. ACEEE then applies this knowledge when developing resources and guidance on local energy efficiency policies.
The working group informs ACEEE’s approach to equity in the City Scorecard and our other research. It provides CBO participants with a space to share lessons learned, engage in valuable peer exchange, and increase impact in their communities. ACEEE also provides technical and research support to working group members.
The group includes 7 representatives from CBOs across the U.S. serving frontline communities in areas of energy and environmental justice. At this time, the group is by invitation only and is limited to 7 members. The working group convenes for 60-minute virtual meetings every other month throughout the year. Previous meeting topics have included:
- ACEEE'S National Affordable Housing Retrofit initiative
- ACEEE's equity strategies for the city, state, and utility Scorecards
- Community economic development strategies
- State and utility strategies to protect households from utility shut-offs; exploration of energy efficiency as a COVID-19 recovery solution delivering energy efficiency to rural communities
- State-level preemption bills (bills that seek to limit local governments from enacting policies to achieve their climate change goals)