Strong energy policy is creating new options for Minnesotans to reap the benefits of solar power, smart efficiency, electric transportation, and more. As our state shifts to a cleaner energy economy, it is vital to ensure that no one is left behind.
Over the last four years, Fresh Energy has been expanding its work to look at not just how much wind, solar, and efficiency we have in our state but also who benefits. Using our expertise at the Public Utilities Commission and a data-driven approach to progress, we have worked to expand investment in efficiency for apartments and other multifamily housing, ensure access to community solar for low- and moderate-income households, and make the case for cleaner transportation options throughout our neighborhoods.
Fresh Energy is doubling down on this work through our new Energy Access and Equity program area. Led by senior policy associate Ben Passer, the program will house our work to create and expand clean energy opportunities for under-resourced households and renters and ensure that equity is at the heart of our efforts. Fresh Energy will continue to focus on providing policy and technical expertise, actively partnering with community and equity-focused organizations to identify and secure inclusive solutions.
Our Energy Access and Equity program work is focusing on five key areas this year:
- Co-leading the Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network as a critical forum for bringing together housing and energy leaders, in collaboration with renters’ organizations, toward increased investment in multifamily building efficiency.
- Shaping and protecting the state’s Conservation Improvement Program, maximizing mechanisms for low-income/multifamily energy efficiency to reduce the energy burden among low-income families.
- Elevating renter voices and engaging both renters and landlords through the Saint Paul Tenant-Landlord Energy Project, in partnership with Community Stabilization Project, to improve the efficiency of rental housing in the city and increase transparency in energy costs.
- Expanding access to solar programs for Minnesotans of all income levels.
- Improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions in urban communities by transitioning to clean electric buses and increasing access to affordable, dependable electric cars.
Equity is one of Fresh Energy’s core values, and our new Energy Access and Equity program area reflects that. We will keep working hard to shape energy policy solutions that create an equitable energy future for all Minnesotans.