What is Energy Democracy?

What is Energy Democracy?

We here at PUSH Buffalo and specifically, PUSH Green, have been working really hard to make sure that everyone is included in this Energy Democracy campaign we have going on. We think it's important that members of the community are included in the decision making process when it comes to how their utilities are managed.

But we've managed to jump right in without giving a clearer understanding of what Energy Democracy is as a concept.

So to clarify, we've elected our Director of Workforce Initiatives, Clarke Gocker, to jump in and offer a better, more succinct definition of Energy Democracy, and his reflective thoughts on PUSH Green. 


 

Energy democracy is a fancy way of saying people should have greater control over the cost of energy, how they use energy, where they buy or source energy, and whether they can own energy generating technologies or facilities, like solar and wind, on their homes or in their communities.

Energy efficiency and conservation are affordable ways to gain greater control over some of these things. PUSH Green has demonstrated this time and again by connecting WNY residents to NYSERDA programs, including state-sponsored low interest financing options like On-Bill Recovery. It is why PUSH Green has invested so much time in our communities building shared understanding of the value of energy efficiency improvements, and empowering renters and homeowners to make informed decisions about retrofit projects that will benefit everyone and the environment.

In 2015, PUSH Green will come full circle with a new program offering - rooftop solar (photovoltaic) PV installation - that will further empower community members to lead the region toward an alternative clean energy future.

We've loved engaging with community members to make this future real. Its how and why we do this work. As a mission-based not-for-profit, PUSH Green is uniquely positioned in the marketplace, in the industry, and most importantly in our communities, to advocate for a clean energy vision that puts people first and increases opportunities for democratic decision making, control, and individual and collective ownership of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Recently, New York State has set out to define what an alternative clean energy future could look like and who should be at the table developing and refining that vision. PUSH Green believes that all of our communities deserve a seat at that table, not least among them, communities that have struggled the most with energy affordability and access to clean energy. As we await opportunities to engage in public conversations with other stakeholders across NYS, we can all take steps together to begin building the clean energy future we want to see. We can act now to retrofit our homes and businesses and install renewable energy in our communities.

With the end of the year fast upon us its time to share some reflections on our achievements and the way forward in 2015 and beyond. Since 2012, PUSH Green has completed over 300 energy efficiency retrofit projects and has created dozens of living wage jobs in the local green economy. It might go without saying but through this work PUSH Green is helping to create an alternative clean energy future for low to moderate income community members and working families in Western New York.

PUSH Green believes a more sustainable clean energy future is only possible if its powered by people, not profits, and is guided by principles of energy democracy.

If you believe our clean energy future should put people over profits, call PUSH Green at 886-1780.


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