U.S. government action at the intersection of energy and equity is typically driven by either geopolitical or economic crises that affect energy prices, rather than by a comprehensive, long-term approach to addressing disparities in energy access and affordability. With one in three U.S. households facing challenges in paying energy bills, understanding residential energy disparities is key to achieving energy justice. This presentation introduces the energy justice framework and explores the production and persistence of disparities in urban residential energy dynamics, focused primarily on energy efficiency. The results of cases studies in Kansas City and Detroit demonstrate how spatial, racial, and socioeconomic disparities manifest in urban areas, and how community-based approaches to increasing energy efficiency can help overcome barriers to energy justice.