Black History Month Energy Leaders Blog Series: Bishop Carroll Johnson Stands Up for Solar in the Sunshine State

n honor of Black History Month, SACE is publishing a blog series highlighting the efforts of African American leaders that have played key roles in clean energy in the Southeast.The third post in the series interviews Bishop Carroll Johnson of Orlando Florida.

Reducing the Energy Burden in the Southeast: Tackling Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Housing

When temperatures drop in the Southeast – as occurred this past week – many residents turn up their thermostat to stay warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, this is not a luxury that all can afford.  For low-income households, including multifamily households, the proportion of household income spent on energy – their energy burden – can be [...]

Spotlight Shines on Extreme Energy Burdens in Memphis

This past week, national experts from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) traveled from Washington, D.C. to Memphis, TN to help shine a spotlight on the extreme energy burdens many Memphians are struggling under on a daily basis. As previously reported in a SACE blog, ACEEE identified Memphis as the most energy burdened [...]

Memphians Ask TVA for Energy Efficiency Solutions to Extreme Energy Burdens

This blog is the second in a series SACE is publishing on recent energy efficiency meetings between TVA and community members all across the Tennessee Valley. The first blog, focusing on TVA customers in rural East Tennessee, can be found here.  As part of a statewide organizing effort, communities across Tennessee are meeting with Tennessee [...]

Solar for Low-income Communities and More! EPA’s Clean Energy Incentive Program

Southeastern states may soon have an added incentive for developing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources that directly benefit low-income communities and utility customers. These potential new incentives come in the form of draft federal regulatory language, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to finalize as part of the entire rulemaking process for the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

This program, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), is an early-action, voluntary piece of the larger CPP aimed at ensuring communities who suffered the negative effects of fossil-fuel energy generation and economically disadvantaged communities see real benefits from increased clean energy development. Although utilities, state agencies, industry, and the general public have all weighed in on pieces of the CEIP in previous CPP related comment period, the current EPA document open for comment will become the official design details for the CEIP. Comments can be sent directly to EPA (info on how to do that here) and are due by 11:59pm, Monday, August 29th.

Solar For All Report Offers Solutions to Help Disadvantaged Southeastern Communities Harness the Sun

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) recently released a report entitled Solar For All: What Utilities Can Do Right Now to Bring Solar Within Reach for Everyday Folks. SACE supports the report, and we are working hard with SELC and other allies to help make solar more accessible for low-to-moderate income (LMI) families across the [...]

Guest Post: Clean Power Plan Can Boost Energy Efficiency Investments in Affordable Housing

Low-income households are disproportionately burdened by exposure to toxins in the atmosphere and the built environment. Climate change compounds these vulnerabilities when unstable weather patterns increase exposure and/or the potency of toxic chemicals in our environment. Additionally, low-income households are often forced to make housing choices in which they rely on inadequate or lower quality housing. Poor ventilation can cause homes to be drafty in winter and allow in moisture in summer that leads to mold and illness. Poor construction and inefficient appliances and energy grid connections leave families unable to safely maintain comfortable temperatures, leaving them further vulnerable to illness or potentially deadly accidents.

White House Has Plans to Help Low-Income Communities Gain Access to Solar

In early July, the White House unveiled a new plan to help cut energy costs for low- and middle-income families. The new program would make it easier for people who lack startup capital, or who rent rather than own their homes, to invest in solar.

According to the Obama Administration, last year the United States brought as much solar energy online every three weeks as it did in all of 2008. The solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. The continually lowering price for solar energy is part of the inspiration behind the Administration’s effort to provide access to those communities who have historically been economically unable to access clean energy resources.

Can we talk? Here’s the conversation African Americans need to have about climate change

This guest post, by Danielle Hilton and Seandra Pope, was originally published on Grist on July 8. You can see the original post here. Last year, the African-American author and commentator Charles D. Ellison asked, “Where’s the Black political conversation on climate change?” Now that conversation is happening, but it’s not the one we need. [...]

Bridging the Clean Energy Divide: Affordable Clean Energy Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been working to highlight the benefits offered by clean energy resources to vulnerable communities.  In a new set of fact sheets, NRDC lays out how the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan offers serious benefits to low-income and fixed-income households.  Although the fossil fuel industry and its allies [...]