Reaching Underserved Communities

Demographics indicate that the US is becoming more diverse, yet many utility policies have not evolved to meet this changing landscape. Wealthier households continue to benefit from energy efficiency programs while a growing number of low- to middle-income and rural communities miss out on these opportunities. 

In a 2016 study, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) found that low-income households devote up to three times as much income to energy costs as compared to higher-income households. Moreover, African-American and Latino households spend disproportionate amounts of their income on energy. 

For ethnic and lower-income communities facing a disproportionate energy burden, energy efficiency programs can have the biggest impact. But unfortunately, programs often fail to reach these underserved communities. In many cases, this can be attributed to non-targeted program designs, which tend to limit participation. Instead, programs should be designed using a targeted marketing approach to meet the needs of a wide mix of customers and not only wealthier households. 

With extensive experience in community outreach and working with diverse populations in lower-income markets, Prisma Point offers expertise in designing energy efficiency programs that are not only accessible to underserved communities, but that fostering greater adoption of energy efficiency measures among these groups.

 

Our consulting services in designing energy efficiency programs to reach underserved communities:  

  • Program strategy development to connect with underserved markets
  • Community outreach and marketing

 

Notable projects: 

  • Program lead for Puget Sound Energy Single Family Rental Market Outreach Pilot
  • Project lead for BC Working Group for Energy Efficiency for Affordable Housing for FortisBC, (formally Terasen Gas)
  • Project lead for BC Sustainable Energy Association Green Landlords Project