Home energy use echoes the disparities caused by racism. Despite the semblance of uniform utility rates and ubiquitous service, the negative outcomes of power shut-offs and cost burdens and the positive benefits of weatherization, retrofits, and renewable energy are not evenly distributed. Yet, efforts to address energy poverty and diffuse improvements are largely race-neutral. They are based on little rigorous evidence of their effectiveness or effects by race, and they do not account for how they may be inaccessible to households of color.
This study develops a national picture of home energy policies and programs, examines differences in receipt for three energy service cases, and explores barriers for households of color. Along with presenting the first cross-case comparison in the scholarly field, the research team hopes to inform discussions of improvements in energy providers' programming and prompt conversations around energy as another source of racial disparity.