Nationally representative survey provides recommendations to electricity providers as focus on diversity and inclusion develops
A new paper from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) found that low- and moderate-income Black and People of Color (POC) households are significantly more likely to support initiatives that address climate change and are more interested in smart energy technologies than White households in the same income brackets.
SECC’s “Racial Disparities Among Lower-Income Energy Consumers” white paper was developed from a national online survey of 1,000 Americans with incomes under $50,000 annually. The survey asked respondents how and when they engage with their electricity providers; how interested they are in smart energy technologies; where they typically receive information on saving electricity; what they think about climate change and the environment; how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their households and more.
The paper found that while lower-income Black and POC consumers often have greater financial and household struggles, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, these consumers are much more likely to be concerned with climate change and the environment. Black and POC consumers are more likely to:
- Say the government should invest in renewable energy (88% and 86% vs. 79%).
- Vote for representatives based on their environmental concerns (74% and 72% vs. 49%).
- Want electricity from clean sources (88% and 86% vs. 74%).
- And worry about the health effects of pollution (91% and 86% vs. 83%).
In addition, lower-income Black and POC households are more interested than lower-income White households in all eight of the smart energy technologies tested, including smart thermostats, energy management technology, community solar, rooftop solar and smart appliances.
The “Racial Disparities Among Lower-Income Energy Consumers” white paper can be downloaded here, and the key findings will be presented during a one-hour webinar with the research team on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. (ET).