What Does an Equitable Energy System Look Like?

Integrating diversity and inclusion in the Council’s power planning

In February, the Council hosted a forum on diversity, equity, and inclusion in its power planning and in its 2021 Power Plan. The forum – with 130 attendees – builds on past work in the Council’s advisory committees to address underserved communities and marked a step forward in ensuring equity in our energy planning.

The forum explored how data and metrics can be used to reveal and describe inequities; the importance of public engagement in the design of energy policy and programs; and the use of equity assessment tools to prompt policy makers and program designers to incorporate equity considerations.

“In our work, we engage with a vast four-state region on energy and fish and wildlife issues,” noted Council Executive Director Bill Edmonds. “We must understand the impact of this work on everyone in the region – this includes our close consultation with tribal sovereigns on fish issues and in deepening our understanding of the unique effects on hard to reach communities on the power side.”

Staff will be reporting to the Council on how it might incorporate the forum’s recommendations into the power plan and other aspects of its planning. Because the current plan is due out in draft form in July, staff will also be exploring work and analysis that may be implemented in future plans.

Besides this effort to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the plan, staff is engaged in the process of developing an inclusion statement as a foundation for the organization, as well as a concrete and challenging DEI work plan for the future.

We’ll be updating you on this initiative as we go along, so stay tuned.