Citizen Communications - Susan Lippman — original pdf
July 10, 2014 TO: The Austin Generation Resource Planning Task Force FROM: Susan Lippman RE: Proposed changes to the Equity section of the Task Force’s July 7 draft Report I thank the Task Force for your hard work and the meaningful goals expressed in the report. I have spoken about the concern that if the low- and moderate-income goal, at the 10% of Demand Savings level, were immediately and literally implemented, and the demand side budget was viewed as a zero-sum source, the goal could drain substantial resources from the other programs. But I have no objection, in fact I approve, of the expansion of the weatherization program in a way that doesn’t inadvertently carve out, or hollow out, the demand response budget. These are my thoughts: Weatherization has important benefits in addition to demand savings: (1) economic development, (2) potential workforce development, and (3) health and safety (I can only anticipate, with global warming, that extreme heat waves will occur in Austin. Europe lost 70 thousand lives in the heat wave of 2003. Our underserved population is vulnerable, and I think those most vulnerable--e.g., elderly, children -- should be prioritized.) I think that when you have enormous economic and workforce development and health protection potentials, you shouldn’t expect your utility company to shoulder all of that by themselves. So it is appropriate seek greater support from Council. I’m fine with expansion of free weatherization, but not at the significant expense of other programs in AE. We should both prepare and prevent: Prepare for the already baked-in (sorry) effects of climate change, and try to prevent, or ameliorate, with effective energy efficiency programs, and carbon pollution reduction. I suggest the following revisions: To the recommendation: The Energy Efficiency Goal for saving energy in the underserved customer population should be increased to 2% to 10% of the Current Demand Reduction Goal. City Council should work with a Consumer Commission and Austin Energy toward accomplishment of the 10% goal. To the narrative: By 2020, Austin Energy and the City of Austin should • Increase low-and low-moderate income weatherization to meet 2% to 10% of its energy efficiency demand reduction goal through these programs, without diminishing the energy savings progress of other demand response programs.” … • Create a consumer commission to make recommendations to City Council and Austin Energy regarding development, funding, and design of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for underserved residential consumers.