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Alice Napoleon

Our jobs, comforts, and ability to survive all depend on something most people take for granted until it goes missing: energy. It powers our lighting, our appliances, our cell phones – our entire daily lives. We need it to search for jobs or work from home, to access essential goods, to cook and store food, to keep our homes at safe temperatures, to access water, and to connect with loved ones. For those who are medically dependent on electricity, access to energy can keep them out of our hospitals—currently overwhelmed with the COVID pandemic—and out of harm’s way.

On January 16th 2020, the New York Public Service Commission issued an order which sets New York on a path to implement one of the most ambitious energy efficiency portfolios in the country.

California often leads the nation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by decreasing the use of fossil fuels. Also important—but often overlooked—is California’s role as an oil producer. While this role has declined, the state still produces about 5 percent of U.S. crude oil, or 0.5 percent of world production.

Synapse recently created a dataset mapping the costs and savings from ratepayer-funded low-income electric efficiency programs against state poverty rates. We found that, despite the savings opportunities from low-income electric efficiency, states with a higher proportion of low-income residents than the United States average tend to spend less on these programs than states with a lower than average proportion of low-income residents. We also found that low-income energy efficiency does not cost more per kilowatt-hour saved in the states that spend more.