The Energy Allies brand was developed by a team of teen designers at Artists for Humanity, a Boston-based non-profit that employs teens in art and design. Although our name has changed, our mission remains in the same vein. Both our organization and Solstice Power Technologies are committed to equity and prioritizing income-eligible communities. We’re looking forward to continuing to work towards our shared vision of thriving, resilient, and energy-independent homes for all.
Energy Allies, formerly known as Solstice Initiative, is a nonprofit led by women of color. In 2014, we were founded by Steph Speirs and Sandhya Murali on the belief that every household should be able to access affordable clean energy. Since our inception, the majority of our board seats have been occupied by women of color. Currently, Yesenia Rivera serves as our Executive Director, leading us in our mission to work with communities most impacted by climate change to ensure they lead local clean energy solutions
Our dream is for everyone to live in thriving, resilient and energy-independent homes. We believe climate-impacted communities have the power and knowledge to lead our equitable clean energy transition. One of our strategies involves a collective group called the Community Advisory Board (CAB), comprising paid community members and organization representatives. The CAB identifies priorities and votes on local energy solutions, actively participating in the design, development, and implementation of Energy Allies projects. We established our first CAB in Boston, MA, to ensure that our community-led solar projects are driven by and serve community members. In Buffalo, NY, the Solstice Initiative is collaborating with the non-profit organization PUSH Buffalo to form a CAB and co-design an energy project that generates intergenerational wealth for climate-impacted communities. We foster partnerships with community members, local organizations, and property owners to create coalitions that improve access to clean energy. Together, we identify suitable locations for clean energy projects and develop programs to democratize the energy system for community members.
Since our inception, Energy Allies has made significant contributions to research and innovation in income-eligible community solar access. Our partnership with the Department of Energy, along with data scientists from MIT and Stanford, has resulted in the development of EnergyScore, a more accurate predictor of defaults compared to traditional credit scores and more inclusive of all households. Our research, conducted in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DoE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), emphasizes the importance of policy in promoting equitable inclusion of all income levels and working with communities to design local energy solutions. Community-led energy is an innovative solution to our unreliable, expensive, and dangerous energy grid. Energy Allies catalyzes community-led energy projects through community solar policy and energy justice educational resources in climate-impacted communities.