High energy burdens, sub-standard housing, pervasive poverty, poor public transportation access, poor access to health care and food deserts are all too common in North Memphis. Large community re-development projects in Memphis have often left communities like North Memphis behind – resulting in more divided neighborhoods and displacement of low-income and minority communities. Many are left asking – when is this ever going to change?
As it turns out, a change may be coming thanks to a novel opportunity known as the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC). Memphis, specifically North Memphis, has been chosen as one of six SPARCC sites, along with Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles and the San Fransisco Bay Area. The three-year SPARCC initiative is focused on fostering collaboration and could lead to multi-million investment in community driven projects.
Their mission is simple: teaching low-income residents low- and no-cost ways to reduce their power bills, something that has a direct impact on quality of life. Since launching, the Empower Chattanooga program has helped 800 participants take control of their energy costs and achieve meaningful relief from their month-to-month financial strain. On average, these families are saving $400 per year with little to no upfront cost.
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 [...]
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.
This is the third post in a three-part series detailing energy efficiency upgrades to SACE’s new Asheville office. Read the rest of the series here or watch this video for a virtual tour! While upgrading our new Asheville office, we took additional steps beyond air sealing and insulation measures to improve our building’s environmental impact and durability with [...]
Just as temperatures where dropping and some residents in low income communities were thinking about how they’d pay their astronomical electric bills this winter, a group of community leaders traveled to Washington, DC. These leaders went to meet with their congressional offices to discuss how good energy policies can lead to savings in the home, [...]
This blogpost was co-authored by Marcus Strong, energy policy intern for SACE in the summer of 2010. Often in politics, we don’t immediately see the effects of actions, whether it’s a decision maker’s vote on a piece of legislation, a court overturning a case, or a constituent writing to Congress urging a stand on a [...]