Governments and utilities are adopting “home electrification” strategies (i.e., promoting the use of efficient and clean electric cooktops, electric heat pumps, electric vehicles, etc.) to help lower energy costs, improve local air quality, and address climate change. However, underrepresented communities are historically left out of program and policy design even though they experience the greatest impacts of air pollution and climate change, and often higher energy burdens.
To address this issue, Utah Clean Energy launched the Equitable Electrification Collaborative project, with financial support from the U.S. EPA’s under and Assistance Agreement. We’re working with four community organizations: the Calvary Baptist Church, Guadalupe School, International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake City, and the Westside Coalition.
The project, which will run through 2023, seeks to build resiliency and address local air pollution challenges that have historically burdened underrepresented communities, with a focus on Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City Westside neighborhoods.
The way we’re working to address these issues and accelerate home electrification, is through a community collaborative problem-solving framework.
This project will work with the community in a collaborative process to:
- Build a shared understanding of home electrification,
- Identify the unique opportunities and barriers that the communities will face,
- Develop a community vision of home electrification,
- Bring key stakeholders into listening sessions to help them understand community needs and goals, and
- Co-develop strategies between the communities, government, utility, and service providers that integrate community needs into planning, programs, and policy.
Ultimately, the strategy is meant to ensure that all community members, especially underrepresented communities, can participate in and benefit from the transition to energy efficient, clean electric appliances and equipment in their lives.
If you have questions about the project, please contact Ofa Matagi at firstname.lastname@example.org