Energy Lecture Series


Since 2015, the University of Rhode Island’s ​Plugged into URI Energy Research (PIER) Lecture Series has provided stakeholders with research-based information on important energy topics and highlighted ongoing academic energy research. In 2020, the EERMC sponsored three virtual lectures themed around the nexus of health outcomes, equity and energy efficiency. The 2020 Lecture Series focused on the nexus of health outcomes, equity and energy efficiency and featured expert speakers from across the U.S.

Energy is entwined in all aspects of our lives, whether at home or work, in the car or on foot, and in the wind, sun, water and plants around us. The Plugged Into Energy Research (PIER) Lecture Series highlights cutting-edge energy research and outreach, and explores how the results of this research may affect our daily lives in the future. The goal of the PIER Lecture Series is to increase literacy around energy topics of concern in Rhode Island and beyond.

More information can be found at URI Cooperative Extension. Watch the recordings here:

Lecture #1 – Energy Efficiency, Human Health, and COVID-19

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the links between health and the built environment. Adequate ventilation is essential to reducing transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 (Dai, H., Zhao, B. (2020) and people living without proper ventilation may be at an increased risk of exposure. Is energy efficiency an effective solution to increasing health and safety in buildings, and reducing exposure to COVID-19? Join us for this important conversation featuring experts from around the United States.

Lecture #2 – Energy Efficiency in Schools: Safer Buildings, Healthier Students

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

There is strong evidence that building environments affect the health and performance of individuals learning or working inside. How has COVID-19 required us to re-examine our treatment of school buildings in relation to air quality, and how can attention shift towards energy efficiency and help schools reopen safely amidst the pandemic? How can we leverage energy efficiency in schools to create healthier, more productive environments that inspire students to join the energy efficiency workforce?

Lecture #3 – Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Rental and Affordable housing

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The economic benefits of improved energy efficiency in homes are well documented, however energy efficiency programs are not easily accessible to all. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how many communities already struggling with economic and social hardships are less likely to live in properly ventilated, energy efficient housing. What are the economic, social and cultural barriers to participation in energy efficiency programs? How can/should energy efficiency programs be designed to specifically address these barriers to entry?