Alarmed by skyrocketing increases in utility shutoffs throughout California, TURN launched the Power@Home Campaign in 2016. One out of four California residents was struggling to keep the lights on and energy insecurity was threatening the health and wellbeing of millions of utility customers.
In 2018, TURN published Living Without Power: Health Impacts of Utility Shutoffs in California to document where shutoffs are concentrated, who suffers most and what could be done to address the statewide crisis in utility affordability. TURN was shocked to find that over 10% of customers disconnected by their utility company are never reconnected. In the context of a statewide housing crisis, we understood there is a significant relationship between being able to maintain utility service and housing security.
We extended the Power@Home Campaign to Contra Costa County in 2019 in order to look more closely at the relationship between shutoffs and housing, houselessness, and displacement.