Clean Energy for All – Inclusive Finance

Photo Credit Andy Pearson

Photo Credit Andy Pearson

Intro

Inclusive Finance is an exciting new strategy that allows us to address climate change and social justice at the same time. It is a program that allows people to save money by conserving energy and using more clean energy, without consideration of the credit score, income or renter status.

 

Why It Matters

Inclusive finance has the capacity to address environmental justice, racial justice, and economic justice and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Low-income communities and communities of color often pay the most for energy due to their tendency to live in older, less insulated homes. Inclusive financing would lessen inequalities by opening up clean energy and energy efficiency access to all, regardless of income, race or zip code. This tool is part of a broader movement to shift the power of big utility companies controlling energy to consumers paving the pathway to an energy democracy where consumers have say in how their energy is produced, distributed, and used.

 

 

Background

We save the most energy by being energy efficient. Through Inclusive Financing, utility companies such as Excel and Centerpoint cover the upfront cost to implement on-site improvements including better building insulation or rooftop solar. With these improvements, customers will receive immediate savings and have the opportunity to save up to 25% on their energy bill in the future.

The Minneapolis Climate Action plan has set the goal to reach 75 percent of single and multi-family customers with home energy services by 2025. By the current plan, about two-thirds of customers still need to be reached. Existing program options do not sufficiently reach customers due to economic barriers and lack of outreach. Inclusive Finance is a system where whoever pays for the utility bill, at a home or building, also directly benefits from the more efficient home or rental unit by simply opting in to the program.

Organizations including Community Power, Isaiah, MN Interfaith Power and Light, and others are working as a coalition to influence inclusive climate policy at the municipal, state, and corporate level. An important aspect of the upcoming Minneapolis budget is the proposed Franchise Fee, which is an annual 2 million dollars that go to energy efficiency for Minneapolis residents. The Franchise Fee would increase the likelihood of Inclusive Finance being implemented due to its ability to act as a safety net for large Utility companies.

 

Photo Credit Andy Pearson

Photo Credit Andy Pearson

What We Are Doing

  • Creating a campaign to support a transition to a clean energy economy
  • Using the framework of a just transition to ensure that clean energy is accessible and affordable to all consumers.

 

Available toolkits

On November 29th and December 6th, Minneapolis will be holding public hearings to decide whether the proposed annual 2 million dollar Franchise Fee will be included in the upcoming budget. We can show our support by attending the hearings and speaking up for cleaner, fairer energy in Minneapolis.