How is energy efficiency connected to community resilience? We answered that question in a report last year, Enhancing Community Resilience through Energy Efficiency. The report found that energy efficiency should be a core resilience strategy because it strengthens energy systems and the communities they serve by providing more reliable and affordable energy. Energy efficiency reduces a community’s vulnerability to an array of hazards and increases their capacity to cope when disruptions occur (check out this infographic for more details). Our resilience research is ongoing; we will present our next paper on this topic at the 2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
How ACEEE can help
Many communities are actively developing resilience plans or pursuing resilience activities (see here, here, and here). Local governments, planning organizations, and other stakeholders in these communities might find hands-on assistance helpful. Today we are announcing a technical assistance opportunity to help them. We will be able to offer assistance to a small number of communities interested in using energy efficiency to increase their community resilience. For those selected, we can answer questions like: how should my community incorporate energy efficiency into its planning activities, or what types of energy efficiency should my community consider? Here are some of the ways we can assist:
- Participate in local convenings to discuss energy efficiency’s role in increasing community resilience
- Review draft resilience plans and suggest how energy efficiency can be incorporated
- Assist in prioritizing policies or programs and identifying relevant best practices
We will also work with partners in this effort. The Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project works to catalyze the use of resilient power in low-income communities and vulnerable populations. They are a leading expert on the impact of solar and energy storage in increasing resilience. The Public Technology Institute provides support to local and county governments on a number of topics, including local energy assurance planning. Both organizations have unique expertise with synergies to our energy efficiency expertise. These partnerships not only streamline technical assistance offerings related to resilience and energy, but by teaming efficiency, solar, storage, and assurance planning expertise, they can amplify the impact of this opportunity. Energy efficiency is part of the solution, but a multi-faceted strategy can have a greater impact on resilience efforts.
How to contact us
If you are involved in resilience activities in your local government and are interested in having ACEEE help out, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 29. In your note, tell me about your community’s current commitment to resilience and other resilience activities under consideration. We will consider cities on a case-by-case basis, and prioritize those actively involved in resilience planning.