Pratt Center is working to connect more New Yorkers to green job training opportunities and energy incentive programs as part of the Regional Clean Energy Hubs program. The Hubs are local networks of community-based and environmental justice groups formed by NYSERDA that help residents and small businesses navigate and take advantage of opportunities in the clean energy economy. Pratt Center is providing technical assistance to all three New York City Hubs—the Queens & Staten Island Hub run by NHS of Queens, the Manhattan Hub run by WeAct, and the Bronx & Brooklyn Hub, run by Association for Energy Affordability.
Our work includes performing a Regional Assessment and Barriers Analysis for each Hub and providing energy advisement services to clients that connect with the Queens and Staten Island Hub for services. We are also providing technical assistance on best practices in program design for implementing the Regional Hub in each territory as needed, such as assisting with the creation of an outreach and equitable engagement plan.
As the climate crisis worsens, it is urgent that all New Yorkers can participate in and benefit from the clean energy transition. But most NYC residents, especially those in disadvantaged communities (DACs), face challenges in understanding and accessing the opportunities that exist in the clean energy economy. The purpose of Pratt Center’s analysis for each Regional Hub is to first identify current barriers for small residential building owners, tenants of multi-family buildings, and small business owners to access green home upgrades, and barriers for New Yorkers to find jobs in the clean energy economy. Second, the analysis will identify opportunities for improving NYSERDA’s reach within these communities. Pratt Center’s prior work on NYSERDA Energy Smart Communities, NYSERDA EDGE, EnergyFit and Green Jobs/Green New York provides us with a foundational understanding of NYC’s clean energy ecosystem, which we draw upon for our work as part of the Hub teams.
Pratt Center is conducting a series of focus groups, interviews, and surveys to gather a wide range of insights into the current challenges that exist for residents of each borough. A particular aim of this work is to illuminate the unique barriers for disadvantaged communities (DACs), which are designated by the state in areas with disproportionate socioeconomic and environmental burdens. We are also conducting data analysis and creating visualizations of current NYSERDA program impacts and future opportunities to provide a holistic picture of the best ways to bring in more New Yorkers to the clean energy transition. The final assessment reports for both Hubs are expected to be released in mid-2024 and will be the guiding documents for our partner organizations and NYSERDA to implement strategies for improving uptake of residential incentives and job training opportunities.