Energy Allies catalyzes community-led energy projects through community solar policy and energy justice educational resources in climate-impacted communities.
To achieve this, we utilize a collective group called the Community Advisory Board (CAB), comprising paid community members and organization representatives. The CAB plays an active role in identifying priorities and voting on local energy solutions, actively participating in the design, development, and implementation of our projects. In Boston, we established our first CAB to ensure our community-led solar projects are driven by and serve community members. In Buffalo, we collaborate with PUSH Buffalo to form a CAB and co-design an energy project that generates intergenerational wealth for climate-impacted communities. Through partnerships with community members, local organizations, and property owners, we build coalitions to improve access to clean energy. Together, we identify suitable locations for clean energy projects and develop programs to democratize the energy system for community members.
Community-led energy is an innovative solution to our unreliable, expensive, and dangerous energy grid.
The impact of racist, discriminatory, and prejudicial government policies is still evident today, perpetuating racial disparities in our society. These policies have created social, economic, climate, and health burdens that disproportionately affect climate-impacted communities.
While Federal and State governments have made commitments to achieve net-zero emissions in the future, it is crucial to have a community-led energy justice movement. Without it, we risk adopting energy methods that will only worsen the cycle of high energy burdens in these communities.
For instance, despite significant electrification efforts in Massachusetts, access to clean energy and related programs is far from equitable. Infrastructure projects have been implemented without community input, and clean energy initiatives have not adequately addressed the needs of climate-impacted communities. Additionally, historical practices of discrimination and exploitation have discouraged many from advocating for a better system. Efforts to ensure equitable access to clean energy have been poorly administered, further exacerbating the disparities.