In the United States, opportunities for residents to access clean and reliable energy in their homes has improved drastically over the last decade. New technologies have improved household energy efficiency and reduced the carbon footprint of large appliances, including heating and cooling systems. In some states, households can make choices between a growing number of renewable energy suppliers, while others have the ability to produce and use their own solar energy, selling excess to the grid.
Yet, these positive outcomes are not shared equally. For example, Black and Hispanic majority census tracts show significantly less solar rooftop photovoltaics than white counterparts — even after being adjusted for income and homeownership. There are also staggering racial disparities in per-capita energy consumption, household energy expenditures, and rates of electric vehicle deployment. Understanding these disparities, their origins, and how to tackle them, is critical to designing smart and just energy policy. This panel brings together practitioners and researchers to discuss how we can more equitably distribute the benefits that advances in energy policy and technology have brought to some, but not to all.