Jared Higgins


Parkhill | Principal - Senior Practice Leader


Track M: Sustainable Development

Session M3: Energy Programs Supporting Sustainable Development

September 27, 2024 | 10:30 am - 11:00 am

Using Energy Efficiency Grants to Further Environmental Justice

In an era defined by escalating environmental and economic concerns, the spotlight has pivoted to focus on energy efficiency. Amidst a 3% surge in inflation impacting goods and services within a mere 12 months, the reverberations on the quality of life and cost of living are profound. This surge in inflationary pressures places strain on household and public institution budgets, necessitating a heightened awareness of individual expenses. Embracing energy-efficient measures, such as upgrading infrastructure and systems, emerges as a beacon for immediate and enduring operational savings.
Marginalized communities have borne the brunt of climate disruption and pollution, and now grapple with the compounding challenges of inflation. As a designer, the paramount focus on sustainability and energy efficiency becomes the cornerstone, all while ensuring the resilience of buildings. Achieving this delicate balance demands a strategic budget and financial commitment, enhancing systems to prioritize energy conservation and environmental responsibility.
Despite formidable challenges, attaining this goal stands within reach, buoyed by the support of the Federal Government. In the year 2024, the administration, propelled by the President’s initiatives – the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the American Rescue Plan – embarks on historic investments to propel environmental justice forward. The Justice40 Initiative emerges as a linchpin, aimed at fortifying underserved communities burdened by pollution, aligning with the broader commitment to equitable progress.
This study delves into the complexities of obtaining grants and funding, conducting a meticulous examination of the requirements to guarantee the energy efficiency of buildings. The inquiry carefully navigates the qualifications, aligning them with the distinct circumstances of disadvantaged communities, thereby contributing to the overarching narrative of promoting sustainable, resilient, and equitable development.

Speaker Bio

Jared Higgins, PE, CxA, CEM, GGP, is a Principal and Senior Practice Leader with Parkhill, a full-service architecture/engineering company headquartered in Texas. He is a leader in mechanical systems design and energy services, which includes energy modeling, building commissioning, and energy policy and codes. Through his expertise, Mr. Higgins focuses on both regional and national education in the trend of energy policy, energy codes, and grant funding. As part of his recent efforts, Jared has worked with several municipalities to obtain energy efficiency grants with a focus on underdeveloped communities. Mr. Higgins is an advocate of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and the advancement of energy awareness.