Too few low-income communities in California, defined as census tracts that do not exceed 80% of the median statewide family income, can afford renewable electricity.
affordable renewable utilities for everyone
The world is in an era where sustainability is more critical than ever, as the effects of climate change are occurring at an unprecedented (and devastating) rate. In order for tangible change to happen, policymakers must coordinate at the state, national, and global levels. For example, the state of California aims to be at the forefront of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to reach 100% renewable energy by 2045 (SB 100, 2018).
Sofia Abramsky-Sze is a second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is intending to double major in Psychology and Public Health as well as minor in Public Policy. She currently holds positions at the Institute of International Studies, the Vanguard at Berkeley, and UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.
Evan is a junior at UC Berkeley where he studies the ways that democracy, capitalism, and public policy intersect with contemporary environmental problems. He is excited to be doing work that addresses jointly the issues of climate change and social inequality. In his free time he enjoys backpacking, skiing, and playing the piano.
I’m a third year at UC Berkeley majoring economics and graduating in December 2022. She served as the CEO of the nonprofit Kids Helping Kids Sacramento and will be interning as a commercial banking intern at HSBC this summer. Working on this project was an incredible opportunity to learn more about the renewable energy options in California!
Madeline Sarvey will graduate from UC Berkeley in 2023 with a BA in Philosophy. She began a career in the environmental sector in 2019 as a Public Affairs Intern with Marin Clean Energy. Then she served an AmeriCorps position for a non-profit conservation organization in rural Nevada. In her free time she enjoys cooking, rock climbing, and spending time with her nieces.
Our Hope for
Throughout this semester, our group has brought together our various strengths to collaborate on problem-solving a policy solution to a problem we all recognize. We hope to see a solution such as subsidizing rooftop solar installation in low-income communities throughout the state and beyond. Avenues to equitable affordability in the public utility sector must exist if renewable energy is to power the future. Small programs like GRID Alternatives are already being implemented in the Bay Area, demonstrating the viability of this kind of policy and providing a basis for its wider implementation.