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LIFE Webinar Series


Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) LogoTo further the dialogue between stakeholders throughout the low-income energy community, the Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) is proud to host the LIFE Webinar Series. The LIFE Webinar Series serves as a venue for communicating information on assistance programs and current topics relevant to the low-income energy field to those involved in addressing the energy needs of low-income energy consumers. The Webinar Series is open to all and is available at no cost.

Upcoming Webinars 

LIFE webinars, newsletters, and social media are currently on pause. Visit nyserda.ny.gov/LIFE for details.

Previous Webinars

Measuring Climate Equity

Thursday, April 29, 2021
10:30-11:30 a.m. ET
Presenters: Bryndis Woods, PhD and Sagal Alisalad, Applied Economics Clinic

For climate equity goals to be more than just lip-service, it is of vital importance that they be formalized with measurable and actionable metrics, and involve robust, meaningful, and transparently conducted community engagement processes. This presentation will cover the kinds of equity metrics that may be used to track and measure different kinds of equity goals – including the challenges inherent in doing so. For example, much of the data and information needed to measure progress towards equity and justice goals do not currently exist or are not currently publicly available. The webinar will note additional efforts that will be required to measure progress regarding the impacts of climate policy in vulnerable and historically marginalized communities.

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Energy Justice as a Public Health Issue 

Thursday, March 25, 2021 
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET
Presenter: Surili Sutaria Patel, American Public Health Association (APHA)

Climate change exacerbates health inequities. Political, economic, social and environmental resources enable people to cope with climate threats, such as extreme heat and natural disasters. But difficulty in accessing these can contribute to a potentially unmanageable energy burden as climate change worsens. U.S. communities that lack accessible, affordable household energy services may also suffer from poorer health outcomes, fewer educational opportunities, limited political representation, fewer economic opportunities and inadequate access to health care. As climate change worsens, the importance of adopting clean energy solutions is highlighted. Alongside community leaders, public health professionals have a role to play in monitoring, evaluating and supporting a transition to a healthier energy supply. A thoughtful energy transition provides opportunities for mitigating climate change and promoting health equity at the same time. Join this webinar to examine what a just energy future can look like from a public health perspective, including considerations for how those who prioritize energy equity and public health can work together to build partnerships, support affordable solutions, and measure impacts in support of a culture change that prioritizes a just economy and human well-being.

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Fostering Equity in Local Clean Energy Policy

Thursday, February 25, 2021  
1:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Stefen Samarripas, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

For local governments, prioritizing social equity in clean energy strategies begins with identifying groups historically underserved by energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, the disparate impacts of current policies, and who is poised to have a voice in future policy design and implementation. These concerns guide ACEEE’s work in supporting local communities working to advance social equity through clean energy initiatives. Historically, many marginalized groups have been underserved, overlooked, and underrepresented in local clean energy planning and policymaking. These groups can vary from place to place but often include people of color, low-income residents, older adults, indigenous peoples, immigrants, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness. Join this webinar to learn about what can be done to address the barriers to clean energy facing marginalized communities, including an exploration of five ways that cities and their local utilities are creating, promoting, and supporting socially equitable clean energy strategies. 

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Energy Justice – Progress in Real Time

Thursday, January 21, 2021  
10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. ET
Presenter: Jamal Lewis, Green & Health Homes Initiative

This webinar will discuss energy efficiency as playing an essential role in the practice of energy justice by addressing racial inequities through investments in people and places. Energy efficiency services can help reduce the disproportionate energy burden affecting low-income households and communities of color. Improved housing conditions resulting from energy efficiency services can, in turn, ultimately improve health and social outcomes. Investing in policies that provide energy efficiency and weatherization assistance—and not only energy bill assistance—may be part of a long-term and equitable solution to energy insecurity that is also a critical step toward restorative justice. To support efforts among energy efficiency programs in pursuit of this goal, consideration of equity and its measurement is essential. Understanding the discourse around equity and exploring definitions and measurement schemes for equity in service fields that could apply to energy efficiency will set the energy efficiency industry on a path toward a just and equitable future. Join this webinar to learn from Jamal Lewis of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative about the present state and envisioned future of energy justice in practice.

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HEAP Updates for 2020-2021 Heating Season

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. ET
Presenters: HEAP Bureau, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost.  The program also offers other assistance to eligible households including heat and heat-related emergency benefits, cooling assistance, and heating equipment clean and tune, repair, and replacement benefits. This webinar provides updates on HEAP for 2020-2021 heating season and includes time for a question and answer session.

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Energy Justice – Research at the Intersection of Energy and Equity  

Date: Thursday, July 16, 2020
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Tony G. Reames, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability; Director, Urban Energy Justice Lab

Join the LIFE Webinar Series for this presentation about how energy-related topics are being studied through a justice lens. The emerging field of energy justice, which investigates fair and equitable access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy technology, can provide the foundational research necessary to create informed policy in response to climate change.   

Tony G. Reames is Assistant Professor at University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability and the Director of the Urban Energy Justice Lab. His research employs energy analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), and policy analysis tools to study disparities in urban residential energy dynamics focusing on the production and persistence of spatial, racial, and socioeconomic inequality. 

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Extending the Benefits of Nonresidential Energy Efficiency to Low-Income Communities

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
1:30-2:30 p.m. ET
Presenters: Ariel Drehobl, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy; Dean Fisher, Maryland Energy Administration; Brooke Pike, Energy Outreach Colorado

The American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy’s (ACEEE) report, Extending the Benefits of Nonresidential Energy Efficiency to Low-Income CommunitiesLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., examines the growing number of energy efficiency program implementers across the United States that serve nonresidential organizations in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities. These programs provide energy efficiency services to local groups such as nonprofits, schools, government offices, businesses, medical facilities, shelters, and community centers. Providing nonresidential organizations with energy efficiency services provides many benefits to community-serving institutions in low-income areas. It can reduce capital and maintenance costs, shorten time spent on building maintenance, and reduce monthly utility bills. As a result, these institutions can spend more of their money on their projects and within their communities. Join this webinar to learn about extending the benefits of nonresidential energy efficiency to low-income communities.

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LGBTQ+ People and Utilities – Intersecting Issues

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Time: 1:30-:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Sam Faduski, Public Utility Law Project of New York

Although LGBTQ+ people make up a small percentage of the US population, they are disproportionately un- and under-employed, homeless, and food insecure. While access and affordability issues in the context of electric, gas, and water utilities may seem to mirror those that other clients face, additional steps must be taken to protect and assist this population. Join this webinar to explore unique issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals regarding their utility rights, with guidance provided for advocates and attorneys to ensure equitable access and fair treatment.

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Spotlight on New York’s Energy Consumers – What We Can Learn from Current Research

Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Time: 1:30 -2:30 pm. ET
Presenter: Nathan Shannon, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) joins the LIFE Webinar series to discuss two recent studies that provide insight into New York’s low-income energy consumers and consumer attitudes about the future of clean energy policy and technologies in New York State:  Spotlight on Low-Income Consumers: Revisiting their Needs and Wants  and New York Consumer Pulse Study . Join this webinar to about SECC’s research and what it can teach us about New York’s energy consumers.

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Energy Justice - Principles and Practice

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
1:30-2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Raya Salter, Principle Consultant, Imagine Power, LLC

Response to climate change has triggered unprecedented investment in clean energy technologies. To ensure equitable distribution of these resources and their benefits, understanding the concept of energy justice and its practical application to energy law and policy will be essential. Join the LIFE Webinar Series to learn about the foundations of energy justice and explore practical solutions that hasten the transition from fossil fuels and address the inequities of current energy systems.

Raya Salter is an attorney, consultant, educator and clean energy law and policy expert with a focus on energy and climate justice. She specializes in translating science and technology data into policy change and community education to make transformative and equitable clean energy transitions. Ms. Salter is a co-editor of Energy Justice: US and International Perspectives Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. (2018), a pioneering analysis of energy law and policy through the framework of energy justice and is a member of the New York State Climate Action Council.

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Growing Green Cities - Forests and Green Infrastructure for Sustainability, Resilience, and Health

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
1:30-2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Simon Gruber, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College, City University of New York

Understanding the co-benefits of green infrastructure and green space in communities can assist with realizing energy efficiency, health, resilience, and sustainability outcomes in neighborhoods and residents most severely affected by the effects of climate change.

Millions of trees in urban and suburban areas in New York provide significant energy benefits that are rarely considered in the context of energy planning and policy for enhancing resilience of the electric grid or in other work focused on energy efficiency and resilience to storms and precipitation. Managing and planting trees and other landscaping can be beneficial to physical health by improving air quality and reducing the effects of heat islands as well as having mental and emotional health benefits. In addition, green infrastructure can be used to manage and reduce stormwater runoff, protecting water quality, and reducing overflow events from combined sewer overflows, which has become more widely recognized as an important approach to urban planning, design and restoring environmental quality in urbanized areas. -development toward environmental conservation. Building connections between diverse kinds of stakeholders to raise awareness of these issues can potentially yield productive outcomes by identifying innovative partnership opportunities and other ways collaboration can support shared goals.

Join this webinar to learn about the critical and diverse ways that parks, forests and other open space can support sustainability, energy efficiency, human health and wellness, children’s development, climate adaptation, resilience, stronger communities, and quality of life.

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