Evaluating Equity and Justice Impacts of Energy Efficiency Projects
Energy efficiency projects focused on equality enable all participants to get the same resources and level of support. Programs focused on equity are able to better allocate resources to achieve equal outcomes. Equitable programs require a multifaceted approach and commitment to constant improvements. This paper examined frameworks around equity in energy efficiency projects, and scrutinized strategies for achieving equitable outcomes. Methods to increase program impacts were identified, like employing more expansive definitions of equity in efficiency projects, identifying gaps in the equity frameworks currently in use, and adopting new metrics to better capture the broader societal impacts of efficiency. The research also engaged stakeholders, like commercial customers, regional partners, and utilities to understand their equity frameworks, priorities, and gaps. And the paper identified two ways to apply more robust equity metrics: by evaluating the non-energy community benefits of a project, and by applying equity considerations to evaluations of a given project's performance. A list of new equity metrics were identified that can help better identify and measure the equity impact of efficiency measures.