Washington, DC—The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released the following statement from Steven Nadel, its executive director, in response to the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasting high energy costs this winter:
“Higher prices for natural gas, oil and electricity are going to hurt, particularly for low-income and Black, Hispanic, and Native American households, which pay a much larger share of their income on energy bills.
“Poorly insulated homes and inefficient equipment leave many families paying for a lot of heat that goes to waste. Energy price increases cause utility bills to spike the most in inefficient houses and buildings.
“If our houses and apartments were more efficient, we’d be much better prepared to handle high energy prices. But even many brand-new homes aren’t well sealed or insulated, thanks to outdated building codes in much of the country. And many homes have inefficient heating systems that are expensive to run.
“Most families can’t be expected to address these problems by themselves. Many utilities, states, and cities have programs to help homeowners and rental property owners make efficiency upgrades—and the recent federal climate law is set to deliver a big boost with rebates and tax credits. But we need an even broader effort. States and cities can create and expand programs that help homeowners and rental housing owners make energy upgrades to reduce energy waste and cut utility bills. Most immediately, they can use pandemic relief funds to weatherize more homes of low-income households.”