Mission & Guiding Principles

The over-arching vision of Pecan Street Inc. was to re-imagine Austin’s energy distribution system in a way that could support and accelerate the installation and management of smarter and cleaner electricity services. This included the integration of clean distributed generation, storage, demand response, energy efficiency, new pricing/rate models and other technical and economic issues.

The organization has transformed – from its inception in 2008 to today – from a collaboration of community interests and companies to a stand-alone 501(c)(3) organization headquartered at The University of Texas. Yet since the project’s inception, the partners were driven by a unique set of guiding principles that set it apart from other energy or smart grid initiatives:

Environmental Protection. Environmental benefits are a core goal – not incidental benefit – of the systems we are researching.

Replicability. The organization is committed to developing replicable delivery, economic and pricing models and to freely sharing these with stakeholders across the country.

Economic Development. Pecan Street Inc.’s research targets solutions that bolster economic development and capitalize on local and domestic energy, technology and research expertise.

Economic Feasibility. Our work must make economic sense. That means we must keep in mind the economic realities that utilities and private sector companies face, as well as the financial impacts that changes to the energy system will have on customers.

Interdependency of Renewable Energy and Efficiency. An advanced energy system must rely more heavily on energy efficiency and locally generated renewable energy, and the two are heavily reliant on the success of each other.

Scope of Community Integration. The organization’s efforts will create replicable models that go beyond the scope of the electric utility – into water management, public policy, regional economic development and other community interests that contribute to a dynamic energy sector.

Collaborative Process. This is not a utility-driven organization. Rather, it is a true collaboration that draws on the interests and expertise of the many stakeholders and experts that will be affected by and make possible the kinds of modifications that will be required.