What would you do if the heat index in your home reached 113 degrees?
Most of us would run the air conditioning day and night. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option for some low-income households in Maryland. A new report lays out in stark detail the choices some low-income households must make when confronting hot weather, high energy bills, and intractable poverty – even when the heat index reaches 113 degrees. Read the full report here.
That’s why Energy Efficient Maryland is urging the Maryland General Assembly to set a goal of 1% energy savings for low-income households in Maryland. Maryland’s low-income residents pay 550% more as a portion of income for energy than non low-income Marylanders. The majority of these households (55%) are minority households, meaning minority populations in Maryland shoulder a significantly higher energy burden. Money they spend on higher than average utility bills is money they cannot use for other daily necessities, from school supplies to medical bills.
Our plan would achieve energy consumption savings equal to 1% of annual low-income electricity demand and .5% of annual low income gas demand in Maryland. The savings would be achieved by increasing funding for the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency & Housing Affordability (MEEHA) program and the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) programs. The programs enable state-funded home energy performance audits in qualified low-income homes and then fund needed energy efficiency improvements such as new insulation, better windows, EnergyStar® appliances, LED lightbulbs and more.
To learn more, visit our 1% savings goal fact sheet.