Survey Finds Lower-Income People of Color Are More Interested in Smart Energy Technologies, More Concerned About Climate Change
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 (e.g., community solar, smart thermostats, smart appliances); 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. For example, 39% of Black households and 36% of POC households are very interested in smart thermostats compared to 21% of White households, and 38% of Black households and 34% of POC households are very interested in community solar compared to 25% of White households. However, Black and POC households are also more likely to cite financial barriers for accessing these technologies.
The 'Racial Disparities Among Lower-Income Energy Consumers' white paper can be downloaded here.
Upcoming Events of Interest from SGO:
5th Annual Smart Cities International Virtual Symposium, February 23-24, 2021
Long-Duration Energy Storage Virtual Summit, March 9, 2021
6th Annual Grid Modernization Forum, May 11-12, 2021, Chicago
14th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum, September 7-9, 2021, London
3rd Utility Cyber Security Forum, October 6-7, 2021, Chicago
8th Annual Demand Response & Distributed Energy Resources World Forum, October 12-14, 2021 in Los Angeles