A Message from the Founders on #EEday2021

Posted October 6, 2021 By Anne Dougherty Sara Conzemius


ILLUME calls on our industry to center equity in our work on Energy Efficiency Day 2021. Together we can transform our workforce with dignity, reduce household energy burden, and equitably decarbonize our buildings and cars.

When Energy Efficiency Day started in 2016, our industry was focused on the easiest way to acquire savings regardless of who benefits. Inexpensive energy rebates were driven by customer behavior and took place at the household level. Fast forward to 2021 and our industry now finds itself standing up climate policies, programs and screening tools which are hard to quantify, operate on a social scale, and cost billions.

We are at an inflection point as we shift away from uncovering savings to addressing energy injustice. ILLUME is rising to meet this moment by:

  • Leading research in New York serving historically underserved, vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Featured in Grist and in Politico, our efforts are helping state agencies address barriers and craft programs and services to improve access and community ownership of clean energy, transportation, climate adaptation and resilience investments.
  • Supporting the Maine Governor’s Office address new legislation to define environmental justice, environmental justice populations, frontline communities, and develop a process for the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection to consider these communities in decision-making.
  • Supporting Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power in gathering stakeholder support and input into a transportation electrification roadmap in Arizona that also ensures equal access to historically underserved communities.
  • Supporting equity conversations in states like Wisconsin and across the country as we lean into the challenge of rethinking energy benefits and metrics.
  • Investing in two new roles at ILLUME—our People Champion and Managing Director of Equity—to stand up high-impact efforts to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our company and in our work.

Since our founding ILLUME has been committed to supporting environmental and climate justice, workforce transformation, and ensuring all communities benefit from the clean energy transition. Want to feel inspired? Learn about the work of organizations like the Ohio Climate Justice Fund, The Climate + Clean Energy Equity Fund, and the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) that are changing the way we approach energy equity.

Thank you for partnering with us on #EEday2021 to support our energy communities who need us most.