Doing Well, Doing Good
It seems like when you walk into a Best Buy, Target, or Costco lately, dozens of new products for the home are screaming energy efficiency. You'll see LED bulbs, smart thermostats, automatic shut-off power strips and whole home alarm and monitoring systems.
As CEO of the Association of Energy Services Professionals, and as a former energy efficiency utility guy, it warms the heart. We are on the cusp of a dramatic shift that we in energy efficiency thought was nearly impossible - behavior change.
If someone hasn't replaced at least a few incandescent bulbs with LEDs, they're practically luddites.
Perhaps now, with forward motion on that front, we can see better and work harder on an area where energy efficiency modernization has an obstacle greater than changing mindsets. That is, solutions that work for low-income families.
The products I mentioned above are great. But they require a cash outlay that many people simply do not have.
A 2016 study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and Energy Efficiency for All found that median energy burdens for low-income households are more than three times higher than among the rest of the population.