Equity means understanding people’s unique circumstances and working with them to identify solutions to address their needs. Energy equity aims to minimize the negative impacts of our energy systems and maximize the benefits for all utility customers. Historically, these impacts and benefits haven’t been equitably distributed.

To make sure everyone has access to clean, affordable, reliable energy, utilities are applying an equity lens to their demand-side management, distributed energy resource, EV, billing, and payment programs. They’re also incorporating equity into their marketing and communications, internal operations, and trade ally engagement. And they’re learning more about customers’ unique needs and challenges and modifying programs and services to meet those needs, ensuring fairness and justice.

Utilities may recognize this critical opportunity, but they may not know where to start. E Source can help utilities consider and navigate the definitions and applications of energy equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Our comprehensive suite of solutions and services empower our clients to make sweeping improvements in the lives of their customers and employees through equity initiatives.

Our recommended equity pieces

The pending crisis at the intersection of energy affordability and equity

Current approaches to affordability and equity aren’t working for many households. With funding from the US Inflation Reduction Act and other federal and state programs, utilities have an opportunity to create real, meaningful change in their communities.

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Forging a path to a brighter energy future for all

Energy equity continues to be the priority for many in the utility industry. And we don’t expect these important efforts to lose momentum any time soon. Let’s reflect on what the utility industry has accomplished so far, based on each element of the E Source energy equity framework.

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The energy equity framework that benefits customers, utilities, and underserved communities

DEI isn’t a new concept for utilities, but there is a new energy-equity movement sweeping the utility industry. In this white paper, we present our energy-equity framework that will benefit customers, utilities, and underserved communities.

Read the white paper

Define and measure equity

Utilities need to define what energy equity means for their business and customers before they can create and measure goals for energy equity. Equitable programs can meet your performance goals while addressing the unique needs of each community and customer. To assess whether your portfolio is equitable, view it through an equity lens or perspective.

Engage stakeholders

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

Design and implement programs

Research public data, customers, and stakeholders to identify the ideal 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. Findings from these evaluations will help you improve or redesign programs as needed.

Solutions to help you develop an energy-equity strategy that meets all stakeholders’ needs

Learn and compare

With on-demand advice and support from our team of trusted industry experts, E Source Research and advisory gives you practical insights based on the strategies that are working at leading utilities and connects you to peers to share lessons learned.

Connect with your peers

E Source members have access to our frequent webinars and utility-only interactive exchanges, as well as our leadership meetings, topical summits, and annual E Source Forum. We bring together our industry experts, your utility peers, and thought leaders on topics you care about. In February 2022, E Source hosted Integrating energy equity into your utility’s customer programs and engagement. Our experts and attendees discussed how utilities can incorporate equity into their offerings and operations. E Source members can watch the exchange recording to learn more.

Voice-of-the-customer insights

E Source Market Research conducts primary research to understand your customers and what they need, critical to shaping your DEI initiatives.

Strategic planning and implementation

E Source Management Consulting provides services throughout the customer life cycle, including ethnographic research. Our work brings your customers to life and helps you use design thinking to create and implement programs.

Program optimization

E Source OneInform, our industry-leading suite of data science solutions, uses artificial intelligence to help you match the right customers with the right programs to achieve utility equity goals and energy sustainability.

Internal diversity, equity, and inclusion

To develop equitable programs in your utility’s service territory, it’s important to consider what equity means for your organization. Internal DEI efforts can help make sure that utility hiring, culture, and decision-making reflect the customers and communities you serve. At E Source, we’re also looking inward to see how our own organization can better reflect the values of DEI. Experts often link diversity and inclusion with organizational and team success.

For more information on equity in your organization, check out:

Meet our experts

Jeffrey Daigle

Contact center, Interactive voice response (IVR) system, Customer experience (CX), Customer journey mapping

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Jesse Hitchcock

Low- or moderate-income customers, Energy equity, Electric vehicle (EV) programs, Demand-side management (DSM), Retrofit programs, Provincial policies, Electric vehicles (EVs)

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Lisa Markus

Employee engagement, Change management, Customer experience (CX)

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Ben Nathan

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

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Vince Ruggeri

Low- or moderate-income customers, Small and midsize businesses, Demand-side management (DSM), Weatherization programs, Trade allies and partners

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Jamie Wimberly

Planning, Communications, Energy equity, Customer engagement, Customer experience (CX), Program design, Strategy

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Patrick Woodworth

Low- or moderate-income customers, Underserved customers, Energy equity, Strategy

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We’re ready to help you address equity

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