Building an Inclusive Clean Energy Economy
A Clean Energy Economy for Everyone
We’re working toward the Climate Act goal of driving 40% of the benefits of clean energy spending to Disadvantaged Communities.
We’re working toward a strong and inclusive clean energy economy to bring economic opportunities and healthier environments for all New Yorkers. Communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, including environmental justice, low- to moderate-income (LMI) families, communities of color, and Disadvantaged Communities, have disproportionately been impacted by energy costs, pollution, and lack of workforce opportunities.
Realizing the goals of the Climate Act will require foundational shifts in the development and implementation of clean energy policy, programs, and processes to ensure opportunities for communities and residents to participate in and benefit from the clean energy economy. To advance these objectives, NYSERDA will focus investments to:
- Improve energy affordability
- Reduce pollution from fossil fuel combustion across New York
- Create new economic development opportunities for communities
- Advance workforce development and training
How We’re Advancing an Equitable Clean Energy Economy
The Barriers and Opportunities Report [PDF] outlines how to incorporate justice and equity in climate and energy programs.
Overcoming barriers faced by Disadvantaged Communities in accessing the economic and health benefits of clean energy is essential for a just and equitable transition. NYSERDA is building its capacity to drive equity and help realize an inclusive clean energy economy through its direct investment, as well as through its work with community-based organizations, utilities, and State agencies.
Specifically, NYSERDA’s key strategies include:
- Building community capacity and increasing awareness of clean energy solutions through the Clean Energy Hubs. Hubs across New York will work to engage residents and businesses, advance job opportunities and economic development, and facilitate community input in policy and program decision-making.
- Ensuring robust engagement opportunities for historically marginalized communities, such as providing input on energy and climate equity strategy and participating in program planning and design with financial support provided.
- Expanding workforce development to include more comprehensive support in creating pathways to clean energy employment. This includes forging partnerships with organized labor and other clean energy employers to expand energy- and climate-related job opportunities for all New Yorkers, especially those from Disadvantaged Communities, underserved populations, and those transitioning to the clean energy industry from a fossil-based job.
- Training for clean energy jobs will continue to support internships, pre-apprenticeships, and fellowships with financial assistance and the goal of transitioning trainees to full-time employees through the on-the-job training program.
- Facilitating partnerships between training providers, employers, and the community-based organizations that are providing support services to people with barriers to training and employment.
- Evaluating different models to provide financial support to employers for training and maintaining worker’s skills, such as employers serving the LMI market, that commit to hiring workers who face barriers to training and employment and providing them good paying jobs, benefits, on-the-job training, professional development, and a supportive and inclusive workplace.
- Developing replicable clean energy solutions to advance beneficial electrification across the LMI market.
- Maximizing community benefits from distributed energy resources, including community ownership models.
- Ensuring all New Yorkers, and especially those that have been historically marginalized and excluded from clean energy opportunities, are able to help shape and benefit from clean energy investments.
- Implementing a statewide portfolio of energy efficiency initiatives with utilities to increase the impact and reach of LMI clean energy investments, which includes more community-centric offerings moving forward.
- Integrating clean energy support from NYSERDA and utilities into affordable housing finance. This will advance the energy performance of these buildings and deliver co-benefits to tenants.
- Leading the Community Decarbonization Fund , a $250 million concessionary wholesale funding pathway to support financiers in making sustainable infrastructure and decarbonization investments in Disadvantaged Communities through the NY Green Bank.
- Developing a more holistic set of community-centric program offerings, providing multi-technology, place-based solutions to boost resilience and health outcomes in underserved and other Disadvantaged Communities.
Achieving an Inclusive Clean Energy Economy
Communities, businesses, and residents across New York will have access to economic opportunities in the just transition to a clean energy economy. Support and training will reduce barriers for residents of Disadvantaged Communities and priority populations to participate and prosper in the growing clean energy workforce.
This inclusion will also advance equitable access to clean energy solutions, including clean transportation, solar and energy storage, and clean heating and cooling to reduce emissions, improve public health, and enhance resilience to climate change. New York State will regularly engage with climate-vulnerable communities and ensure their representation in decision-making and policymaking.
Key Programs and Initiatives
Regional Clean Energy Hubs
Teams of trusted, knowledgeable, community-based organizations across the State helping New Yorkers navigate clean energy opportunities for their home, business, or career.
Read more about Regional Clean Energy Hubs
Energy Equity Collaborative
A shared space for collaboration between those serving and representing historically marginalized communities and NYSERDA and State government partners.
Read more about Energy Equity Collaborative
NY Energy Advisor
A one-stop shop site to help low- to moderate-income New Yorkers get access to personalized energy savings programs.
Read more about NY Energy Advisor
Climate Justice Fellowship
NYSERDA funds one-year fellowships for individuals from priority populations to work within clean energy organizations or businesses serving disadvantaged communities.
Read more about Climate Justice Fellowship
Workforce Development and Training
NYSERDA supports on-the-job training, internships, curriculum development, and more to create a sustainable talent pipeline for New York’s clean energy economy.
Read more about Workforce Development and Training
Allows everyone who pays their own electric bill, including renters, businesses, and co-op/condo owners to go solar without installing panels on their property.
Read more about Community Solar
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