Monday, November 13, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Community Focused Redesign: Working Toward More Equitable Income-Qualified Utility Programs
Session ID
D2 - Enhancing the Visibility, Salience, and Prominence of Equity in Utility Programs
Equity & Empowerment
Chris Ross Annalisa Wilder

DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) program serves income qualified customers with retrofits and weatherization that improve the energy efficiency of the home. Understanding how to increase diverse, equitable, and inclusive outcomes in income qualified energy efficiency programs will be a key focal point of this session. This presentation will highlight the belief that diverse, equitable, and inclusive outcomes are increased through better recognition of potential participants in income qualified programs coupled with learning from these households on how best to tailor programs to meet their needs. The session on the DTE Equity Insights and Inclusion Study will explore learnings to inform best practices for prioritizing customers. It is increasingly important goal to explore program delivery paths that prioritize communities and customers based on depth of need while also considering mechanisms that address longstanding barriers like health and safety issues, which have historically prevented utilities from making home improvements that impact energy efficiency and help customers save money on energy costs. This presentation focuses on the overall goal of the DTE Equity Insights and Inclusion Study – to find the best pathway to deliver whole home retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades to households by a community-based approach backed by household-level data to identify areas with high concentrations of need. The session will include three main areas of focus of the DTE Equity Insights and Engagement study: 1) Data Analysis, Equity Metrics, and Targeting: Targeting services to communities with the greatest needs, 2) Customer Engagement: Learning about customers in target communities while building goodwill and rapport with the goal of gathering essential insights about customers’ lived experiences, perspectives, and energy challenges, and 3) Strategy & Pilot Design: Pairing research findings with behavioral science insights and stakeholder input to design a more effective approach for meeting the needs of one or more high priority communities.

Supporting Document 1