ACEEE’s guide tracks how local energy policy boosts community resilience
How have your community’s energy efficiency initiatives also increased its resilience? Our (ACEEE’s) new paper, Indicators for Local Energy Resilience, gives municipal leaders a unique set of tools to answer this question. We explore local energy resilience, our new term for the interconnection of community resilience and various aspects of energy supply and consumption. We look at different aspects of this concept — like thermal building performance and transportation connectivity — and methods communities can use to assess them. By applying these lessons, municipalities can get a better sense of their own local energy resilience.
Tracking local energy resilience
We’ve spent the last few years drawing the connection between energy efficiency and community resilience (see here and here). In our research, we take a broad approach to the concept of community resilience by including both physical factors like energy reliability and socioeconomic ones such as the strength of the local economy. This broader concept is also used by many urban planners and local policymakers (see here, here, here, and here for examples) because community resilience is not just about keeping the lights on during a big storm. It’s also about strengthening communities by making energy affordable and reliable for all.
So how can communities track their progress toward local energy resilience? Identifying indicators to monitor progress is complex because community resilience is cross-cutting. Considering all aspects of local energy resilience and the linkages among those aspects can become a brainteaser.