A social change lab in the state of New York to strengthen the capacity of local partners to conceive, launch, and execute low income-focused initiatives in collaboration with key allies.
We aim to increase access to clean energy by low-income households.
What is e-Lab Leap?
The e-Lab Leap initiative is dedicated to empowering and improving the lives of low-income communities and households, which account for close to fifty million Americans, in a clean energy future.
Why It Matters
To date, solutions for integrating growing amounts of distributed energy resources (DER) into the electric grid have focused largely on utilities, regulators, third-party service providers, and more affluent customer segments. However, low-income communities and households stand to benefit most from clean energy in a future of increased economic uncertainty and climate change vulnerability. Current programs and policies for low-income segments do not sufficiently address the energy cost burden borne by this population, and face the greatest level of uncertainty, particularly with funding, moving forward.
Using the e-Lab approach, Leap works with diverse stakeholders such as community representatives, government representatives, property owners and housing authorities, academic institutions, other NGOs, and more to form nontraditional working partnerships and codevelop creative and new solutions that empower low-income households and communities to benefit from a clean energy future.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Programs implemented by lab participants to drive forward innovative and collaborative solutions to low-income energy challenges.
Events are designed to build bridges between key stakeholders, foster shared understanding and lay a critical foundation, and help develop and implement effective solutions.
WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED
In the past two years, e-Lab Leap has engaged with more than 50 organizations across New York State, through deep-dialogue interviews, three multi-day stakeholder meetings, and several more targeted workshops and trainings.
e-Lab Leap has researched over eight low-income business models that are unlocking the potential for low-income customers to participate in and benefit from DERs, as profiled in our publication Breaking Ground and our webinar "Clean Energy for Low-Income." e-Lab Leap has also partnered with champions such as Solar One to advance new business model concepts through a design and coaching methodology, resulting in pilot-ready projects.
Clean Energy for Low-Income: Insights from 8 Business Models
Breaking Ground: New Models that Deliver Energy Solutions to Low-Income Customers, 2016
Giving Low-Income Families Access to Clean Energy and Efficiency