Energy should be affordable, so that no one has to go without. Energy should be clean, so that no one is harmed by fossil fuel pollution. Energy should be resilient, so that its there when we need it. Communities of color must play a lead role in our transition to a clean energy economy—as beneficiaries, as decision-makers, and as the entrepreneurs and workers that will build our clean energy future.
Decades of redlining and discrimination in energy and housing policy have long forced many communities of color to live near polluting facilities like fossil fueled power plants, which have made people sick and shortened our lives. It has also led to low income and environmental justice communities having less reliable service and less access to energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. Income and wealth gaps have left our communities with less money to cover our basic needs, and too many people are forced to make difficult sacrifices in order to keep the lights on. Affordable clean energy can help address all of these challenges, but existing programs and policies often fail to target benefits toward the communities that need them the most. This happens in part because of a policy making structure that doesn’t give communities enough of a voice in the decisions that impact their lives.
Greenlining works to ensure that the policies that build our clean energy future center and prioritize communities of color. We work toward:
- Affordable clean energy: Greenlining’s Energy Equity team works to ensure that communities of color have access to clean energy technologies like solar, energy storage, and home energy management tools. Additionally, we work to ensure affordable clean energy, because no one should ever have to decide between whether to buy groceries or pay the electric bill.
- Energy efficiency: We see energy efficiency as a crucial piece of the effort to create both healthy homes and thriving communities. Investments in energy efficiency, when done right, can lower energy costs for families, make homes healthier, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow the clean energy economy and create jobs.
- Healthy homes and communities: We work to ensure that energy efficiency policies and programs reach and benefit our communities, so that our homes are healthier and more comfortable inside, and are cheaper to light, heat, and cool. We also work on building electrification—converting from gas to electricity for things like heating, water heating, and cooking—to ensure that, in addition to helping fight climate change, these policies maximize benefits and minimize risks for our communities.
- Active community engagement in energy decision-making: In all areas of our Energy Equity work, Greenlining advocates for active community engagement in decision-making. We work to ensure that legislators, regulators and power providers listen to our communities before making decisions that impact our lives.
- Job and entrepreneurship opportunities: We advocate for workforce development and local job opportunities that provide family-supporting wages, good benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. We also advocate for supplier diversity and other policies and programs that support entrepreneurs and business owners of color.