A Comparative Analysis of US State-Level Policies and Programs to Advance Energy Justice: Article No. 012002

Noah Sandoval, Jonathan Morgenstein, Jesse Geiger, Patrick Gibbs, Morgan Brazilian, Adam Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The US energy system is undergoing massive changes that have environmental, technological, and societal implications. Decisions and actions taken now will dramatically alter the trajectory of our future energy system. Though new technologies can lessen the dangers of anthropogenic climate change, an effective and sustainable transition requires addressing social justice issues as a priority. To this end, many states have implemented policies and programs that address energy justice. A formal survey of state-level energy justice policies and programs is needed to better understand the methods used to assist communities targeted and the impacts of these efforts. Such an analysis should include an analysis of the metrics used to judge the effectiveness of the enacted policies and programs. In this paper, we analyze the energy justice policies and programs of seven different US states. From this analysis, we identify three important aspects of state energy policies. First, most policies and programs do not articulate their goals, nor cite metrics to judge their successes. This lack of transparency and accountability is a major roadblock to truly just solutions. Second, states focus on a very narrow range of solutions for energy justice issues. The most prevalent being utility bill assistance, which does not address the systemic and enduring challenges faced by many low-income or historically marginalized communities. Lastly, comprehensive energy policy does not acknowledge and address housing, employment, education, and healthcare inequities that exacerbate energy system inequities. The work presented in this paper sheds light on the progress of state-level energy justice policies and programs across the United States, and we argue more work needs to be done to understand best practices in energy justice policymaking.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-7A40-81794


  • energy equity
  • energy justice
  • energy policy
  • energy transition


Dive into the research topics of 'A Comparative Analysis of US State-Level Policies and Programs to Advance Energy Justice: Article No. 012002'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this