Why We Started Powering Our Future

By: Michael Smith

Powering Our Future | July 5, 2022

For years, Delaware has been at an uneasy intersection of several realities. It is a low-lying coastal state, spotted with pockets of poverty, dependent on energy imports from neighboring states and in many ways still reliant on polluting fossil fuels. For many Delawareans, the cost of energy keeps rising while wages struggle to keep up, particularly in the past few years. And at the exact same time, the pollution of our air and water has only gotten more attention for the devastating impacts they have on our lives.

These lived realities are born out by the data. Researchers from the University of Tennessee found that, when comparing 2020 data to 2014–2018, Delaware had “the largest increase in monthly energy burden (1.61% or an additional $37.53 per month)” of any state in the nation (Chen et al, 2022). As seen in Figure 4 from their paper, Delaware is one of a small handful of areas nationwide where energy burdens increased substantially in recent years.

A county-by-county map of the United States, color coded by the increase of energy burdens in 2020 compared to 2014–2018. All three Delaware counties are colored red, signaling steep increases in energy burdens.
Figure 4 from Chen et al, 2022

On top of that, Delaware is also heavily polluted, harming the quality of life of all citizens. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked our state 47th in pollution, with high levels of industrial and transportation pollution posing serious threats to the health of all Delawareans.

In response to these twin problems, rising energy burdens and troubling environmental pollution, we decided to start a new non-profit focused on twin solutions, energy efficiency and electrification.

Powering Our Future is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based out of New Castle County, working to promote clean energy infrastructure across Delaware with the goal of building healthy, happy and resilient communities that will stand the test of time. We are headed by our founder and Executive Director, Michael Smith.

Our primary focus is on connecting individuals and businesses to practical strategies for working towards a cleaner future. We believe that we can successfully integrate future-forward green technology into our infrastructure while also reducing costs by using a combination of grassroots outreach, strategic partnerships and public policy.

If you want to learn more about us, check out our website here. Additionally, follow us on social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram or LinkedIn.

If you want to learn more about energy efficiency and electrification, check back here or on our Medium account for articles explaining these concepts and giving examples from our local community.


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