Energy efficiency budget cuts could exact hefty price on businesses, workers, rural residents, and low-income families
The administration’s proposal to zero out funding for ENERGY STAR® has drawn a lot of buzz. While preserving ENERGY STAR is vital for energy efficiency in many ways, it’s only one among many important efficiency programs on the chopping block. The full budget has not been released yet, and Congress certainly won’t approve it in its current form, but House Republicans are eager to reduce funding for many of these programs. The threat of deep cuts is real.
ACEEE recently released Lifting the High Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities, a report highlighting the financial burden energy costs can place on households in cities across the United States. The analysis found that the overwhelming majority of low-income households and households of color experience higher-than-average energy burdens.
In a recent report released by ACEEE and Energy Efficiency for All, Lifting the High Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities, we measured energy burdens in 48 of the largest cities in the United States. Energy burden means the percentage of household income that goes toward energy costs, and we looked specifically at utility energy bills (transportation energy costs are also a significant household expense, but it was outside the scope of the analysis).
Want to use energy efficiency to benefit low-income communities in planning for the Clean Power Plan? We’ve got a guide for that.
The Clean Power Plan may be stayed, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to guide states who are considering their compliance options. This morning, EPA indicated its commitment to moving ahead with the Clean Power Plan by sending a proposal on the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) to the Office of Management and Budget.
Report: “Energy Burden” on Low-Income, African American, & Latino Households up to Three Times as High as Other Homes, More Energy Efficiency Needed
Data Gauge Impact of Energy Costs on Low-Income, African-American, Latino, and Renter Residents; Low-Income Households in Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, New Orleans, Providence, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Cleveland Suffer Heaviest “Energy Burden”
Many people groan when they see their utility bill spike after a cold February, but for some it is more than just an annoyance. Imagine if you had to under-heat your home during that cold February because you knew you wouldn’t be able to afford the utility bill. Imagine if you didn’t realize how much it would cost to heat your home to a comfortable temperature, and are now stuck with a bill larger than you can afford.
The past year included many successes, including quite a few that we can build on in the new year. Among the notable developments in 2015:
When ACEEE launched the Multifamily Energy Savings Project two years ago, we offered one of the first estimates of potential energy savings – $3.4 billion – for multifamily buildings, a traditionally underserved market. Since then, we continue to report on opportunities and challenges for achieving these savings.
Energy efficiency is increasingly viewed as an essential element of community development, and is arguably becoming the most appreciated and integrated “green” topic in the field. For example, a growing number of state housing finance agencies actively encourage the inclusion of energy-efficient features in the properties in which they invest.
Report Will Be Centerpiece of White House Sponsored Roundtable with Building Owners and Utilities