isaac sevier wants utility justice

I’m an energy engineer, policy advocate, organizer, and strategy advisor for systems change.

Housing, water, and clean energy should be provided for all people in an overheating world. This principle and my perspectives as a queer immigrant shape my work.

I founded and co-direct the People’s Utility Commons, a local-to-local organizing project for achieving utility justice nationwide, and am a member of the Climate and Community Project.

In 2021, I was part of the democratic, frontline-led design and launch of the Equitable Building Electrification Fund with the support of Kresge Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, The Summit Foundation, and Emerald Cities Collaborative.

Since 2017, I have advanced policy and movement infrastructure directly with Initiative for Energy Justice at Northeastern University School of Law, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, California Green New Deal Coalition, NEWHAB, Energy Efficiency for All in California, The Greenlining Institute, Energy Democracy Project, Energy Equity Project, Justice40 Accelerator, Energy Foundation, and others not listed.

I have instructed courses and provided guest lectures on energy policy and justice at Stanford University, the University of California, and the University of Michigan.

By request, I advise on strategies to build collective power and win local, state, and federal policy for democratic control of our built environment.

What's on my mind…

11 Sep 2023 We Need Public Power for Energy Equity We have to expand public ownership of the electricity system rapidly and comprehensively. With more than one-quarter of all U.S. households currently experiencing deep energy insecurity, the requirement of private utilities to produce competitive profits for their investments is fundamentally opposed to the equally urgent tasks of resisting energy apartheid and greening our buildings and the power sector.

17 May 2023 Building Decarbonization has a Natural Gas Pipeline Problem In current policy and investment strategy, building decarbonization is treated primarily as an appliance swapping project. This micro-approach misses the systemic nature of the reduction of natural gas demand explicit in the swap: drawing down demand is ultimately a natural gas pipeline network decommissioning project.

12 Sep 2022 Don't Count Utility Shutoffs, Ban Them Utility shutoffs are a blunt tool that benefits utilities more than people. Creating new standards for counting them isn’t necessary and could potentially produce more harm than good. Our time will be better spent to try to ban them permanently and immediately.

17 May 2022 President Biden: Fund Utilities, Defund Police Frontline activists in Los Angeles successfully won $333 million for utility debt, proving recovery funds could be used for helping people. President Biden wants to fund the police instead.

21 Nov 2020 Leaving No One Behind While Multisolving for a Just Recovery The U.S. Census Bureau data about how many Americans might be evicted by the end of the year because of the hardship from COVID-19 is staggering. In order for a Just Recovery to be possible through government stimulus, do we need to reassess our assumptions about what must be done first?

See all my Notes.