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Elevate’s Research Papers and Presentations at the ACEEE Summer Study

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) holds a biennial Summer Study, an energy conference inviting policymakers and researchers from around the world to share their work to inspire innovating thinking and collaboration in the energy field. This year’s theme is “Climate Solutions: Efficiency, Equity, and Decarbonization.” 

This year, Elevate is proud to have eight papers and presentations at ACEEE’s Summer Study! Elevate’s Director of Research and Innovation Rachel Scheu will also be co-leading the Summer Study panel on equity in decarbonization. Get a snapshot of our presentations and a look into our work this year in this overview. 

Realizing Equitable Community-Based Climate and Clean Energy Investments

The Justice40 Accelerator is a national model for local capacity-building and developing a pipeline of community-designed and led projects. The paper and presentation presents this model, which provides assistance and partnership to support frontline organizations applying for and receiving government funding.   

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Key takeaway:  

  • The Justice40 Accelerator presents a model that centers community needs and voices, and investment in community-driven climate solutions.

Angelina Benson-Glanz

Presenter: Angelina Benson-Glanz 

Authors: Elevate (Angelina Benson-Glanz), Groundswell (Nora Olagbaju), Hummingbird Firm (Marisa Carter, Bria Calvin) Partnership for Southern Equity (Christina Cummings, Jaimie Lewis), The Solutions Project (Sekita Grant) 

Uplifting the Voices of Climate and Environmental Justice Community Leaders

This short documentary shares the stories of six frontline organization leaders participating in the Justice40 Accelerator, who are leading on climate action in their communities through community-designed and community-led projects that demonstrate the benefits of energy justice, energy democracy, and building a clean energy workforce. 

This was selected as one of 10 sessions to be live broadcast for attendees!

Key takeaway:  

  • Organizations on the frontlines of climate and environmental justice know what climate and clean energy solutions are needed in their community, and need funding to realize these solutions and take action on climate change.  

Angelina Benson-Glanz

Presenter: Angelina Benson-Glanz 

Authors: Elevate (Angelina Benson-Glanz), Groundswell (Nora Olagbaju), Hummingbird Firm (Marisa Carter) Partnership for Southern Equity (Christina Cummings), The Solutions Project (Sekita Grant) 

Decarbonization Retrofits for Affordable Housing: A Chicago Case Study

La Paz Place is an affordable multi-family property in Chicago that Elevate worked with on electrification retrofits from 2021-22. This case study presents findings thus far from retrofit decision making, modeling, and monitoring. Residents at La Paz Place are expected to save 21% on utility bills, and owners are expected to save 4%. Expected carbon emission reductions is 44%.  

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Key takeaway:  

  • This case study demonstrates electrification solutions in a cold-climate multi-family property, and highlights the importance of decarbonizing affordable housing.   

Abby Francisco

Presenter: Abby Francisco

Authors: Elevate (Abby Francisco, Bill Lyons, Louise Sharrow), Slipstream (Allie Cardiel, Dan Cautley, Scott Pigg), ComEd (Mark Milby, Stephen La Barge), Climate Imperative (Margaret Garascia), and Bickerdike (Michael Burton)

Electrification in Chicago: Policy, Partnerships, and Deployment

This presentation features Angela Tovar, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago, and showcases the City of Chicago’s residential deep energy and electrification retrofit research partnerships, policies, and programs, including Elevate’s Building Electrification Program. Focused on the existing small-residential sector of existing homes, Chicago is an example of equitable deployment of home electrification retrofits and the Biden-Harris Justice40 Initiative.

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Key takeaway:  

  • This research demonstrates that equitable electrification in the Midwest is not just feasible, but is happening now in homes across Chicago. 

Anna McCreery

Presenter: Anna McCreery 

Equity Provisions in Illinois’s Climate and Equitable Jobs Act

This paper reviews the equity-related provisions of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) and the process of developing them. CEJA, passed as Illinois law in 2021, put equity at the center of legislation, notably directing 40% of investments to communities on the frontlines of climate change.

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Key takeaway:  

  • This research outlines the process of developing CEJA’s novel equity provisions so that other cities and states can emulate the process in their climate legislation. 

Delmar Gillus

Presenter: Delmar Gillus

Authors: Delmar Gillus and Anne McKibbin 

Rapid Deployment of Energy Upgrades Through a Community-Scale Approach: Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Equitable Clean Energy Goals

This analysis shows that greater than 50% energy savings is feasible in Chicago’s older, energy-intensive housing stock under the right conditions without increasing energy burden. The partnership model between the state departments, national labs, and community organizations is successful and replicable for other groups to replicate for cities beyond Chicago.  

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Key takeaway:  

  • This research makes the case for additional financial investment and policy changes in support of electrification and decarbonization in the Midwest. 

Anna McCreery

Presenter: Anna McCreery and Angela Tovar 

Authors: Elevate (Honnie Leinartas, Anna McCreery, Rachel Scheu), NREL (Philip White, Janet Reyna, Lixi Liu), DOE (Steve Dunn), City of Chicago (Angela Tovar, Lindy Wordlaw) 

A Successful Program Model for Preserving Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing with Efficiency and Renewables

This presentation highlights two successful retrofit programs designed specifically for naturally occurring affordable housing in Wisconsin and Delaware. Both programs highlighted in the paper take a holistic approach to the building upgrade process and illustrate the operation of a one-stop-shop model.  

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Key takeaway: 

  • The projects in this paper demonstrate that naturally occurring affordable housing can be upgraded to improve efficiency and add clean energy technologies by taking a holistic, neighborhood approach. 

Abigail Corso

Presenter: Abigail Corso and Pat Coleman

Authors: Elevate (Abigail Corso, John Viner), New Ecology (Pat Coleman), Sustian Dane (Claire Oleksiak)

The Breathe Easy Study: Air Quality, Health, and Energy Impacts of Ventilation Retrofits

This study compared three approaches to mechanical ventilation in terms of their impact on indoor air quality and asthma symptoms: exhaust-only systems, central-fan-integrated-supply (CFIS) systems, and balanced energy recovery ventilator (ERV) systems.  Integrating health improvements such as ventilation into energy efficiency programs will expand the benefits for vulnerable communities. 

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Key takeaway: 

  • This research makes the case for improving ventilation during retrofits to improve health and provides guidance on trade-offs between different types of mechanical ventilation systems. 

Anna McCreery
Presenter: Anna McCreery

Authors: Elevate (Amanda Gramigna, Anna McCreery, Anne McKibbin), IIT (Insung Kang, Brent Stephens) 

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