DeAndrea Salvador, RETI's founder and Executive Director, spoke at the TED Conference in April. She took the stage in Vancouver, Canada and spoke about the origin of her drive, why she began RETI, and the importance of their work to alleviate High Energy Burdens.
She shared with the audience that,
“Growing up, stories of next door neighbors having to set up fake energy accounts or to “steal” energy seemed normal to me. During the winters, struggling to get warm, my neighbors would have no choice but to bypass the meter after their heat was shut off just to keep their family comfortable for one more day [...] These kinds of dangerous incidents can take root when people are faced with impossible choices”.
High Energy Burdens are a chronic issue, and must be counteracted with more than the temporary solutions available, such as Energy Assistance. RETI hopes to coordinate with communities and uplift them through:
Education: hosting workshops and events
Home Improvements: better insulation
Smart-home research programs: Smart technology to lower energy bills
Shared Solar grids: participants can offset their energy bill
Cooperation: promoting more equitable pricing by working directly with utility companies
The end of DeAndrea's TED talk was met with enthusiastic applause both in Vancouver, and her home city of Charlotte, where we live streamed the conference for her supporters.
DeAndrea's full TED Talk video:
Photo credit Ryan Lash/TED