Promoting equitable access to clean energy in Tennessee

Smog once choked Chattanooga, Tennessee, but shifts to cleaner energy like solar and energy efficiency continue to improve the region’s air quality. (© iStock)

Ensuring broad access to clean energy creates big impact. Consider that disadvantaged households spend a disproportionately large share of their income on electricity, an average of 15 to 20 percent. This fall, in both Chattanooga and Nashville, SELC is capitalizing on opportunities to make the money-saving benefits of solar power and energy efficiency more accessible to consumers who need them most.

In Chattanooga, our energy experts are among the stakeholders guiding local participation in the Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities Accelerator (CELICA), a two-year U.S. Department of Energy project. With this seat at the table, SELC is working with the city and its municipal electric utility to help low-income customers reduce power costs through access to solar power and energy efficiency upgrades. In 1969, Chattanooga was named the most polluted city in America, with smog and pollution choking the city. After much work and investment in projects like CELICA, Chattanooga has made considerable progress in environmental stewardship, but low-income residents still lack access to cost-saving efficiency measures that will help families pay bills and drive down air pollution even more.

In Middle Tennessee, Anne Davis, Managing Attorney for our Nashville office is making the case for equitable access to clean energy as a member of Mayor Megan Barry’s Livable Nashville Committee and its Climate and Energy Subcommittee. In this forum, Davis is advocating for the city and the Nashville Electric Service—the second largest power distributor in TVA’s system—to ramp up investment in distributed solar and energy efficiency resources and to make them available to customers struggling to pay their electric bills.


For more on how solar and energy efficiency benefit communities across the Southeast, watch our Stories of Solar videos and this short film from the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship on energy efficiency, Good Housekeeping.

More News

Southern Virginia highway proposal threatens recent progress

This week, SELC filed comments on behalf of itself and 16 organizations on the draft environmental impact statement for the wasteful and destruct...

Nashville mayor signs letter urging Congressional climate action

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is one of nearly 200 U.S. mayors advocating for a zero-carbon green economy that creates jobs and emphasizes equity b...

Thank you for fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with us

When, on July 5th, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy abruptly cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it didn't come out of nowhere. For years, SELC...

SELC seeks nominations for 2021 Reed Environmental Writing Award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2021 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including reader...

Lawsuit: Government illegally ‘cut corners’ to ram through NEPA changes

SELC is representing a group of 17 environmental organizations in a lawsuit filed today accusing the government of racing through an industry-fri...

Settlement provides relief for Duke Energy customers

The Southern Environmental Law Center recently reached a partial settlement with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and Duke Energ...

More Stories