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  • So, as a child,

  • I used to spend all of my time at my great-grandmother's house.

  • On hot, humid, summer days, I would dash across the floor

  • and stick my face in front of her only air conditioner.

  • But I didn't realize that that simple experience,

  • though brief,

  • was a privileged one in our community.

  • Growing up, stories of next-door neighbors having to set up fake energy accounts

  • or having to steal energy

  • seemed normal to me.

  • During the winter, struggling to get warm,

  • my neighbors would have no choice but to bypass the meter

  • after their heat was shut off,

  • just to keep their family comfortable for one more day.

  • These kinds of dangerous incidents can take root

  • when people are faced with impossible choices.

  • In the US, the average American spends three percent of their income on energy.

  • In contrast, low-income and rural populations

  • can spend 20, even 30 percent of their income on energy.

  • In 2015, this caused over 25 million people to skip meals

  • to provide power to their homes.

  • This is when energy becomes a burden.

  • But energy burdens are so much more than just a number.

  • They present impossible and perilous choices:

  • Do you take your child to get her flu medicine,

  • or do you feed her?

  • Or do you keep her warm?

  • It's an impossible choice,

  • and nearly every month,

  • seven million people choose between medicine and energy.

  • This exposes a much larger and systemic issue.

  • Families with high energy burdens are disproportionately people of color,

  • who spend more per square foot than their white counterparts.

  • But it's also nurses, veterans and even schoolteachers

  • who fall into the mass of 37 million people a year

  • who are unable to afford energy for their most basic needs.

  • As a result, those with high energy burdens

  • have a greater likelihood of conditions like heart disease and asthma.

  • Look -- given our rockets to Mars and our pocket-sized AI,

  • we have the tools to address these systemic inequities.

  • The technology is here.

  • Cost of renewables, insulation, microgrids and smart home technology

  • are all decreasing.

  • However, even as we approach cost parity,

  • the majority of those who own solar earn much more than the average American.

  • This is why, when I was 22, I founded the nonprofit RETI.

  • Our mission is to alleviate energy burdens by working with communities,

  • utilities and government agencies alike

  • to provide equitable access to clean energy,

  • energy efficiency and energy technology.

  • But there's no one way to solve this.

  • I believe in the power of local communities,

  • in the transforming effect of relationships.

  • So we start by working directly with the communities

  • that have the highest energy burdens.

  • We host workshops and events for communities

  • to learn about energy poverty,

  • and how making even small updates to their homes

  • like better insulation for windows and water heaters

  • can go a long way to maximize efficiency.

  • We're connecting neighborhoods to community solar

  • and spearheading community-led smart home research

  • and installation programs

  • to help families bring down their energy bills.

  • We're even working directly with elected officials,

  • advocating for more equitable pricing,

  • because to see this vision of energy equity and resilience succeed,

  • we have to work together sustainably.

  • Now, the US spends over three billion a year

  • on energy bill payment assistance.

  • And these programs do help millions of people,

  • but they're only able to help a fraction of those in need.

  • In fact,

  • there is a 47-billion-dollar home-energy affordability gap,

  • so assistance alone is not sustainable.

  • But by building energy equity and resilience into our communities,

  • we can assure fair and impartial access

  • to energy that is clean, reliable and affordable.

  • At scale, microgrid technology, clean technology and energy efficiency

  • dramatically improve public health.

  • And for those with high energy burdens,

  • it can help them reclaim 20 percent of their income --

  • 20 percent of a person's income who's struggling to make ends meet.

  • This is life-changing.

  • This is an opportunity for families to use their energy savings

  • to sponsor their future.

  • I think back to my great-grandmother and her neighbors,

  • the impossible choices that they had to make

  • and the effect it had on our whole community.

  • But this is not just about them.

  • There are millions nationwide having to make the same impossible choices today.

  • And I know high energy burdens are a tremendous barrier to overcome,

  • but through relationships with communities and technology,

  • we have the paths to overcome them.

  • And when we do,

  • we will all be more resilient.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

So, as a child,

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B1 US TED energy high energy income technology impossible

【TED】DeAndrea Salvador: How we can make energy more affordable for low-income families (How we can make energy more affordable for low-income families | DeAndrea Salvador)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2018/10/23
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