Why Clean Energy Matters
Transitioning the United States to a clean energy economy enhances economic growth, energy independence, and the health and well-being of the American people.
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As the world economy transitions away from fossil fuels, new opportunities arise to create healthier and more resilient communities, widespread economic prosperity, and good paying jobs across the country. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to ensuring all Americans benefit from this shift to clean energy, no matter their background or where they live.  

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has implemented a growing number of programs, funding opportunities, and research and development projects to address energy equity and environmental justice across the nation. 

Why Is Energy Equity and Environmental Justice Important?

Historically, low-income communities and communities of color have been disproportionately affected by pollution, extreme weather events, and other environmental impacts of fossil fuel generation.

Therefore, these disadvantaged communities stand to benefit the most from access to renewable energy technologies, energy efficient housing, and low-carbon transportation options. 

How Is EERE Advancing Energy Equity and Environmental Justice?

Get Involved

Contact us to discover or inform EERE's energy equity and environmental justice efforts.

Read about DOE's approach to equity and Justice40.

Learn more about how federal funds flow to communities through the DOE Energy Justice Dashboard.

Serve as an energy equity and energy justice expert reviewer for project proposals. Register now.

The recalibration of our energy system requires a transformative commitment to targeting disadvantaged and underserved communities so that all Americans benefit. 

We do this by: 

  • Broadening engagement with community-based organizations, tribal nations, states, local governments, and minority-serving institutions through targeted requests for information, roundtables, assistance programs such as community solar subscriptions, and workshops with historically underserved communities. 
  • Collecting more data on demographics and disciplines in our projects to better track progress toward our energy equity and environmental justice goals. 
  • Developing equity-focused research areas to ensure more well-rounded participation in clean energy programs. 
  • Ensuring that programs are aligned with the Justice40 Initiative, which directs 40% of the overall benefits from federal investments to flow to disadvantaged communities. 
  • Expanding funding opportunities to attract and enable more diverse participants. 

EERE’s Equity-Focused Clean Energy Prizes

With low barriers to entry, EERE prizes and funding opportunities are designed to inspire and support anyone with an idea for a project that brings clean power, energy resilience, and environmental justice to their local community. 

  • The Community Energy Innovation Prize fosters grassroots innovation, community-centric networks, and ground-up solutions to advance climate and clean energy technologies in disadvantaged communities. There are three prize tracks, each of which has distinct goals and submission requirements: the Clean Energy Ecosystem Track, the Manufacturing Ecosystem Track, and the Collegiate Track. 
  • The Clean Energy Coalition Prize supported community coalitions—made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations—in executing their strategies to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. 

EERE Needs Reviewers!

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If you have academic experience, lived experience, or other knowledge in energy equity and environmental justice—including how they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion—consider becoming an EERE reviewer. Most reviews offer payment for time spent, and your valuable contribution will help inform EERE’s project selections in clean energy!  

Video by the U.S. Department of Energy

Energy Equity and Environmental Justice News