Energy is an essential resource that powers our everyday lives, and it is crucial that it meets the needs of everyone. Without access to energy, people cannot power their homes, schools and hospitals. However, in 2020, more than a quarter of US households had difficulty meeting their energy needs because of energy costs — limiting the potential for economic growth and development.
To achieve equity in energy and address the challenge of affordability, we are working closely with regulatory agencies and accelerating our transition to more sustainable energy sources like solar and wind power. Read on to learn how regulatory agencies and utility companies like us work to create equity in energy.
The role of regulators in equitable energy
Regulators oversee the energy system and therefore play a vital role in ensuring equity in energy. The Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) regulates the interstate energy sector, and its oversight enables fair, reasonably priced and environmentally responsible utility services.
In addition to FERC, local regulators like the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) oversee state energy systems, set residential and commercial rates and approve energy projects in their respective regions.
The distribution of energy is typically regulated to ensure all customers have equal access to energy, regardless of their location or financial status. With access available for all, the cost of the energy itself becomes a major factor in making sure everyone can meet their energy needs. That’s where utility companies come in.
Our role in equitable energy
To address one of the biggest obstacles to equitable energy access, affordability, we are accelerating our transition to renewables. Renewable energy is currently one of the most cost-effective ways to generate electricity. By transitioning to clean energy, we’re able to avoid expensive upkeep costs from some of our older facilities while generating zero-fuel-cost energy for the next 30 years.
One way we are expanding access to clean energy is through our community solar projects. These projects allow community members to purchase blocks of solar energy from a local grid to power their home without incurring the costs of installing solar panels on their properties. By making clean energy accessible to everyone, we can promote energy equity and affordability.
Check out our Clean Energy Blueprint to learn more about our renewable energy investments and how they aid energy affordability.
Kaitlyn is an intern with the External Communications Team. She is a student at The University of Iowa, studying Journalism & Mass Communication and Event Management. Kaitlyn is passionate about sustainability and is eager to help tell Alliant Energy’s story in their journey to create a better future.