Electric Mobility for All in the Pittsburgh Region
As the electric utility provider for most of Allegheny and Beaver Counties, Duquesne Light Company (DLC) envisions a clean energy future for all. As part of this vision, DLC is working to empower all its customers to experience the benefits of electric mobility.
DLC’s work in advancing electric mobility, specifically in geographically diverse communities outside the urban core, and for disadvantaged, underserved, or underrepresented populations within its service territory, is guided by five electric mobility equity objectives.
As part of DLC’s efforts to evaluate its approach to administering electric mobility efforts equitably among its customers, including people of color and those within traditionally underserved, low-income, geographically diverse, and otherwise vulnerable population areas, the company partnered with Fourth Economy Consulting to help evaluate and guide its current and future work in this area.
Beginning in January 2023, Fourth Economy engaged with members of the DLC team to document DLC’s work to date and understand current levels of electric mobility in their service territory overall and in various communities. Fourth Economy also conducted desktop research to identify the ways that other communities around the country are approaching electric mobility equity and opportunity, with the goal of answering these key questions:
How are communities defining their areas of greatest need and/or areas that will have barriers to electric mobility adoption?
What are the best practices and strategies that other communities are implementing to advance electric mobility equity?
To provide critical information on consumer behavior, community concerns, and opinions about electric mobility, Fourth Economy partnered with Bellwether Research and Consulting to conduct a phone survey of three hundred residents within the selected communities.
In addition, to dig deeper and build on the findings from the phone survey and initial research, as well as hear directly from residents and community leaders about the opportunities or barriers that may exist to electric mobility adoption across charging stations, fleet electrification, and shared e-mobility, Fourth Economy organized neighborhood conversations that took place in four selected communities. Desktop research also yielded promising practices regarding equity-based interventions, programs, and activities for utility providers to advance electric mobility in disadvantaged communities. These are captured as case studies of examples of how utilities around the country have approached equity-based e-mobility advancement.
Based on learnings from the community dialogue, promising practices, case studies, and desktop research, the report offers recommendations on next steps for DLC per community, as well as topic-specific strategic actions DLC may take to advance e-mobility adoption, awareness, and advocacy throughout the DLC service territory. Recommendations are tied to and are meant to help achieve DLC’s five electric mobility equity objectives. They include making EV charging more accessible; assisting in fleet electrification; investing in traditionally underserved, low-income, minority, and otherwise vulnerable population areas; increasing EV awareness, education, and technical capacity; supporting shared e-mobility options; easing administrative costs and building community capacity; and helping stakeholders pursue e-mobility funding opportunities.