Media: Efficiency programs offer model to merge climate, racial justice (ENN)

Jul 2, 2020

From Energy News Network:

As urgency grows to simultaneously address climate change and racial justice through proposals like the Green New Deal, low-income energy efficiency programs provide a potential example of how to merge the priorities. ...

“It contributes to a lot of local contractor jobs — insulation, air sealing, mechanical contractors get a lot of work through these residential programs, particularly the low-income programs give them the most work,” said Rebecca Olson, director of residential programs for the Center for Energy and Environment in Minnesota, which works with utilities to run efficiency programs.

Olson also wants to see more focus on low-income renters, who may live in highly inefficient buildings but find it difficult or impossible to take advantage of utility efficiency programs.

“It takes a lot to get those projects done, there are multiple decision makers, property owners pay some bills, tenants others, there are a lot of barriers to getting work done on rental properties,” Olson said. “We would like to see more concerted effort because we have a lot of income-qualified customers in rental properties” — and such large projects could be big job creators....

Read the full article at Energy News Network