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Felicity Monk, MS, is a 2020 graduate of the MS Program in Environmental Studies, Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability at Antioch University New England

Thesis Committee:

  • Abigail Abrash Walton, PhD, Committee Chair
  • David Hess, PhD, Committee Member

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

Community Choice Aggregation represents a potential opportunity to meet climate change mitigation aims through bulk buying renewable energy, but there remain challenges to deliver energy justice for low income communities. This thesis researched how two CCA programs - the Lowell Community Choice Power Supply Program and the Cape Light Compact - are building energy justice into their mission and activities. Archival research was conducted and eleven in-person interviews took place with experts, advocates and practitioners across the two CCA programs. Questions centered around five energy justice themes - community control, community ownership, local green jobs, low income assistance, and the tension between 100% renewable energy and energy justice - corresponding to the three tenets of energy justice: 1) procedural justice; 2) distributive justice and 3) recognition justice. Research findings highlighted key structural differences between the two programs that enabled differing levels of support for low income communities. While the Lowell program was able to negotiate much lower prices for customers, there remains little in the way of low income support, and the decision-making process seemingly lacked inclusion and authentic participation. The Cape program in contrast has taken the Mass Save energy efficiency program in-house, creating a comprehensive entity that arguably goes further in meeting the needs of the community. These research findings highlight the tools available for other future CCAs in Massachusetts looking to further energy justice.

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Felicity Monk

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-5175-9995

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