Advisory: Conference Takes Aim at Energy Burdens in Memphis

Guest Blog | December 6, 2017 | Press Releases

December 6, 2017

Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]
Danna Walker, NRDC, 240-498-6193, [email protected]

Advisory: Conference Takes Aim at Energy Burdens in Memphis
Clean Energy, Economic Justice and Health Advocates Organize Around Lowering Utility Bills

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – On Thursday, December 7th, health community experts, clean energy advocates, and social and economic justice groups will take part in a one-day conference, Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice, focused on the energy burden crisis in Memphis. This unique event, hosted by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the NAACP Memphis Branch, is in response to community concerns over high utility bills that leave some families in Memphis paying more than 20 percent of their annual income to keep the power on.

With so much money spent on energy costs, families with high-energy burdens are stuck in a cycle of poverty with little money for healthcare costs, food, childcare, and housing. Much of these energy burdens are due to substandard, inefficient housing that can contribute to negative health effects. Representatives from LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, City of Memphis Housing and Community and Development, Partnership for Southern Equity, and the Green Healthy Homes Initiative, among others, will take part in panel discussions and help facilitate breakout sessions with community members to share best practices and learn more about how Memphis can take control of its energy burden crisis.

“With so many clean energy technologies currently available that could help customers save energy, it is unacceptable that so many Memphis families are being held back due to unnecessarily high utility bills,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“The NAACP’s national campaign, Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice, connects the public with NAACP energy justice work happening on the ground,” said Vickie Terry, Executive Director of the NAACP Memphis Branch. “We know that low-income and communities of color pay a larger percentage of their resources for their energy dollars. Energy justice is about ensuring our communities benefit fully from green jobs, clean air, and an energy-independent future.”

“Electric bills should not eat up a household’s budget, and energy burdens should not hit hardest in communities dealing with many other problems. Rethinking energy infrastructure and creating more equitable pricing models does not just reduce bills—it promotes a more equitable society that addresses threats to families’ health and well-being, and the overall ability of the community to thrive and prosper,” said Shelley Poticha, Director, NRDC Urban Solutions.

What: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference
When: December 7th, 2017
9am – 4pm
Where: Memphis Bioworks
20 Dudley St. #900
Memphis, TN 38103