DeAndrea Salvador — an environmental justice advocate and founder of not-for-profit organization RETI, conducts a TED talk on energy in the context of poverty. Although short, her keynote is heavily backed by statistics and presents a neatly formulated solution for addressing the home-energy affordability gap which reaches about 47 billion dollars in the US alone.
DeAndrea Salvador calls attention to the fact that the average American family spends three percent of their income on energy, while families with low income can use up 20 to 30 percent of that money. This results in having to make hard choices between medicine and energy, for example. These families are disproportionately people of color, as well as nurses, veterans and school teachers.
The speaker equates this to a systematic issue that can surely be addressed. Salvador's talk on energy goes on to specify the work done with RETI. The nonprofit organization aims to "alleviate energy burdens by working with communities," providing them with tools and information to address the unaffordability of energy. Moreover, RETI partners up and connects these communities with government agencies and valuable community-led programs that assist families with energy bills. By building awareness, resilience and collaborative opportunities, DeAndrea Salvador believe that we can adequately address the home-energy affordability gap and change lives for the better.