NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 6, 2018) – Tennessee’s families consume and spend more on energy than most Americans, report ThinkTennessee and The Southern Environmental Law Center in a new policy brief released today. According to the researchers, Tennessee also trails states across the nation in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy production.
The third in a series related to ThinkTennessee’s State of Our State 2018 dashboard, the environment and energy policy brief was developed to highlight proven solutions that can help enhance economic and ecological outcomes in Tennessee.
“The way that energy is produced, delivered and consumed affects everything from Tennessee families’ bottom line to the air we breathe,” said Shanna Singh Hughey, ThinkTennessee president, “and public policy is at the center of ensuring both remain healthy.”
While state and federal leaders have taken some steps, the brief argues that more policy action is necessary to increase customer choice and energy efficiency in Tennessee.
“Tennessee is blessed with an abundance of natural resources,” says Amanda Garcia, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, “and that means our state has huge opportunity to capitalize on renewable energy generation, especially solar. We should also be leading the country on energy efficiency to cut electric bills for Tennessee’s families, and we encourage federal, state and local leaders to prioritize these goals in setting Tennessee’s energy agenda for 2019 – and beyond.”
In particular, the brief highlights policies that have already been shown to be effective in other states. Some, such as property-assessed clean energy and on-bill financing, would make it easier for Tennessee’s families to access energy efficiency and solar, resulting in lower electric bills and a cleaner grid. Together, these and other policies can improve Tennessee’s national standings, cut costs for families, create new jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.