PROJECT PURPOSE: This project provides a library of resource materials that address the issues, challenges and opportunities of energy equity for our low income communities.

In 2016, SSDN began a collaboration with the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) and the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE). This project, funded by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network’s (USDN) Innovation Fund, focused on building capacity of SSDN members to integrate meaningful equity considerations into their implementation of municipal sustainability policies and practices, particularly in energy efficiency programming.

Through this joint project, the cohort of participating SSDN members worked together through a face-to-face training workshop in April 2016 and monthly calls for the remainder of the year to build a learning and support community. The culminating activity for the project was the creation of a curated toolkit of web-based content to aid SSDN members in this work, which would serve as a library and roadmap for local government staff – those just orienting themselves to the conversation and navigating the wealth of content available, as well as those seeking to deepen or refine their existing efforts.


understanding-eeq best-practices expertise-and-partners

Understanding Energy Equity

Best Practices

Expertise and Partners

Our energy systems today were built within and upon other economic and social systems in which people of color and vulnerable communities have not been equal and empowered stakeholders. Building your understanding of disparities today requires background on these other systems and the rules that limited benefit and concentrated harm for vulnerable communities. Through these resource links, you will better understand how we got to the current state of inequity, learn key terms and concepts in the growing conversations around equity, explore different approaches to measuring equity, and view examples from other cities of communications (for internal and external stakeholders) about their equity efforts.

Your local government is positioned to create policy and programming that addresses past inequities and creates a more equitable future. Now what do you do about it? How do you start to frame your efforts to fit your unique context and be most effective?This section will give you a scan of the landscape, particularly focusing on the southeast U.S., and allow you to learn best practices being used. 2016 saw the release of volumes of outstanding new relevant research – we provide you with these full reports that are well-worth your read, as well as thumbnail overviews that can help you focus on those of most current relevance to you. Key findings from each report are woven together in these decks to get you started.

Whether you want to deepen your understanding of equity and its many dimensions, or to forge new relationships with partners or experts on equitable energy efficiency solutions, we all recognize the value of partners. This section includes two overview decks intended to support conversations with utilities and other corporate partners around the return on investment for integrating equity into their energy efficiency services. It also walks you through the most recent work of a number of different nongovernmental organizations, providing summaries of their reports and white papers as well as the full documents for your review. Where relevant webinars and videos were available, those are also included here.