In the clean energy industry, consistent measurement is vital to understanding how well we’re advancing the clean energy transition and who is benefiting. However, evaluating and measuring the equity impacts of our work is challenging.
At the 2018 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, in Asilomar, California, attendees at an informal session laid the groundwork for the development of a standardized approach to equity measurement. In the year following the conference, Efficiency for Everyone, Urban Institute, and VEIC took on the prioritized tasks. Energy Trust of Oregon funded the work and each organization provided a matching in-kind contribution. This collaboration produced three related reports. Efficiency for Everyone led development of a draft work plan for creating an equity measurement framework for our industry (available on request). Urban Institute led development of a paper exploring the discourse around equity, as well as definitions and measurement schemes for equity in service fields that could apply to the clean energy field.
VEIC led development of a report, The State of Equity Measurement: A Review of Practices in the Clean Energy Industry, available to download below, which documents efforts to-date to define, collect, analyze, and report on equity in the clean energy industry. The research highlights practices that have worked well, establishes a comprehensive list of data sources, and synthesizes challenges that clean energy program administrators and evaluators have faced. It also identifies gaps in the availability of equity-related data, analytical techniques, and reporting methods.
Moving forward, Dr. Tony Reames and the Urban Energy Justice Lab at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability will lead the solicitation for funding to develop an equity measurement framework and, once funding is secured, will lead the development of the framework and ongoing support of its users through an equitable and inclusive process.