The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project’s (SWEEP) mission is to advance more efficient energy use as a means of providing economic and environmental benefits in the states we work in. In fulfilling its mission, SWEEP focuses attention on improving energy efficiency in lower income households and in underserved communities, which are often burdened by higher pollution levels and heavily populated by people of color. We also acknowledge the historic injustices and ongoing disparities suffered by brown and black communities, including racist policies such as neighborhood redlining and segregation, and the frequent siting of polluting facilities and highways near neighborhoods of color, and are working to reverse and repair this damage through more equitable land use and transportation policies. We frequently partner with organizations devoted to the energy needs of poorer communities, and groups working to further energy efficiency, clean transportation, and energy equity initiatives.
Through these efforts, we have made significant progress in advancing equity within energy efficiency policies and programs in the Southwest region. But we can and should do more.
First, SWEEP commits to engaging in a dialogue with equity-focused organizations and individuals, identifying areas of mutual interest, and soliciting their input on how energy efficiency and clean transportation initiatives can better serve the needs of people of color, including lower income families. Second, SWEEP will redouble its efforts to ensure that energy and climate equity is a priority in the policies and programs we advocate for and support, not just a consideration or an afterthought. We will strive to ensure that lower income families and communities are well served by energy efficiency, clean transportation and beneficial electrification programs in our region, including receiving a disproportionate share of program resources (funding, outreach, technical assistance, etc.).
As we implement these commitments, SWEEP will track progress towards these goals as well as review and update the policies periodically.