US and International Perspectives
Edited by Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Elizabeth A. Kronk Warner
Chapter 5: The equities of efficiency: distributing energy usage reduction dollars
5. Roger Colton, The equities of efficiency: distributing energy usage reduction dollars. This chapter discusses how using energy more efficiently is one of the most effective ways to address climate change, reduce fossil fuel use, and promote energy justice. Energy efficiency reduces all types of power plant-related emissions and mitigates climate change while improving air quality in the communities most burdened by air pollution. Energy efficiency is a well-established industry in the United States with billions of dollars invested annually through administered energy efficiency services programs, energy savings performance contracting, and other efforts. The chapter offers a definition of “equity” in the context of the distribution of utility investments. It then describes an original mechanism which, first applied to issues of equity in non-energy industries, can be adapted to objectively measure the fairness of utility usage reduction investments in a particular application and set of circumstances. This chapter presents a first of its kind tool to measure equity in multifamily energy efficiency investments.
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