Utilities are in a unique position to address equity. They’re:

  • Critical energy providers
  • Major economic engines
  • Job creators
  • Providers of cost savings for customers
  • Major environmental actors

And they’re beginning to apply a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens to their customer programs and internal operations. Some are measuring participation equity and inclusiveness, basing participant eligibility on metrics like income, housing, employment, race, health, and environmental degradation. These utilities often partner with state and local stakeholder groups.

E Source can help utilities consider and navigate the definitions and applications of DEI, using our primary market research, research and advisory, data science, and consulting capabilities to help our clients make sweeping improvements in the lives of their customers and employees through equity initiatives.

Define equity

Equality means treating everyone the same, regardless of their differences. For utilities, this means providing all customers with the same programs and services.

Equity also means understanding people’s unique differences and giving them solutions tailored to address those differences, ensuring fairness and justice. For utilities, this means tailoring programs and services to customers’ specific needs.

Equitable demand-side management (DSM) programs can meet your performance goals while addressing the unique needs of each community and customer. To assess whether your DSM portfolio is equitable, view it through an equity lens or perspective.

The first step is to define what equity means at your utility.

Engage stakeholders

Work with the community. Energy-insecure customers may not be aware of or have easy access to the programs you offer. To help them, you need to get creative. Find ways to partner with vulnerable communities, local governments, environmental groups, regulators, housing authorities, and others. When you engage community voices in the decision-making process, equity increases.

Design and implement programs

Analyze public data and learn about your customers to identify the ideal DSM offerings for each community. Customers might not share your concerns about managing energy consumption and demand across the grid. But they do want more choices in managing their energy use and costs. Provide them with more-appropriate energy solutions by using the equity lens and other research. At the same time, you’ll be able to meet your own energy goals.

Evaluate and iterate on programs

Achieving equity means being flexible, trying new things, and reviewing outcomes to refine your portfolio over time. Equity is a long-term process—not a one-year fix. You’ll need the right metrics to monitor equity outcomes, and you’ll need to include them in program evaluations and annual reports.

Meet our experts

Lisa Markus

Employee engagement, Change management, Customer experience

See bio

Ben Nathan

Electric vehicle (EV) programs, Renewable energy, Demand-side management (DSM), Energy-efficiency programs, Midstream and upstream programs

See bio

Miriam Stein

End-use and emerging technology topics, Battery storage

See bio

Tom Martin

Data science, Power quality and reliability

See bio

Amy Schmidt

Hard-to-reach customers, Planning, Demand-side management (DSM), Demand-response (DR) programs, Load shifting

See bio

Jesse Hitchcock

Low-income residences, Electric vehicle (EV) programs, Retrofit programs, Provincial policies, Electric vehicles (EVs)

See bio

Vince Ruggeri

Demand-side management (DSM), Direct-install programs, Weatherization programs

See bio

Sarah Baker

Account management topics, Commercial business, Customer experience, Customer satisfaction, Market research

See bio

We’re ready to help you address equity.

Provide your email address and we’ll schedule a time to discuss your needs.