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New $1.8 million fund moves power and resources to frontline communities to decarbonize buildings


The Equitable Building Electrification Fund ensures that decision-making power is in the hands of frontline communities, who can best design and implement equitable solutions for widespread electrification

Read news coverage about the EBE Fund in Smart Cities Dive and Inside Philanthropy.  

San Francisco — The Equitable Building Electrification (EBE) Fund, which moves money and power to decarbonize buildings and create healthier communities, announced its launch today with $1.8 million and a $50 million call to action to philanthropy to accelerate a just clean energy transition. Led by a diverse Governance Assembly of environmental and climate justice leaders, advocates, and funders, the EBE Fund advances a trust-based model of philanthropy where those who know their communities best can design and implement equitable solutions for widespread electrification.

“The current model of powering our buildings is not sustainable, equitable, or safe,” says Jackson Koeppel, founding member of the EBE Fund Governance Assembly. “The EBE Fund leads with the expertise of frontline communities because leaders from the frontlines have the lived experience to ensure those most impacted benefit from investment and policy for building electrification to ultimately create healthier communities.”

According to 2019 figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fossil fuel combustion in buildings is responsible for about 13% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Moreover, the concentration of wealth and power within the oil and gas industry has created a powerful lobby that has historically blocked an equitable transition to building electrification. Households of color have the highest energy burden across the U.S and funders often overlook the needs and priorities of smaller community-based organizations that are the closest and most knowledgeable of solutions effective for their communities.

The EBE Fund ensures low-income communities and communities of color are not left behind in the electrification and clean energy transition – especially smaller community-based organizations and other local leaders who know their communities and their unique solutions best.

Backed initially by The Kresge Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, and The Summit Foundation, the Fund has already distributed resources to 10 community-based organizations across the country. They include Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles (PSR-LA), healthcare professionals who ensure decarbonization policies benefit all communities by working with local and state groups like Los Angeles’s Climate Emergency Mobilization Office, and Soulardarity, a Detroit-based community group driving clean tech initiatives in underserved neighborhoods.

“We work directly with city officials in Los Angeles to co-design equitable decarbonization policies that will benefit all communities,” said Maro Kakoussian, Climate Justice Organizing Manager at PSR-LA. “The work of our organization, and other local grassroots organizations across the country, are where real transformative change happens. Support from the EBE Fund helps us amplify our impact and we hope others in the philanthropic field will join the push to work in partnership with communities.”

“Far too often, federal and philanthropic initiatives to advance a clean energy transition exclude working-class families, low-income communities, and communities of color. As a result, we exclude valuable insights and solutions from people on the frontlines of our climate crisis,” said Jessica Boehland, Senior Program Officer at The Kresge Foundation and Governance Assembly member. “The EBE Fund puts frontline communities at the forefront to enable a clean energy transition that truly benefits all communities.”

It’s critical that the public and philanthropic sectors continue to work together to distribute resources to frontline communities. Communities of color and low-income communities should no longer have to carry the negative consequences of systemic inequity.

To learn more about the EBE Fund, please visit:

About The Equitable Building Electrification Fund: 

Founded on the principles of the Environmental Justice Movement’s Just Transition and the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing, the Equitable Building Electrification Fund: A Collaboration for Frontline Communities is equitably distributing resources and power to support self-determination, and build what is needed so that people can afford to stay in and electrify their homes. The EBE Fund directly targets the historic, institutional racism deeply embedded at the intersection of housing and energy, and philanthropy. For more information visit