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COVID accentuates the need for weatherization and efficiency programs

image credit: ID 76993561 © Grazvydas

We've hit the dog days of summer, and, instead of heading out to community pools, parks or other shared public amenities, more people are forced to stay home this year due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. Not to mention, with most offices still shuttered, the need to stay home for longer. 

When the coronavirus began spreading in spring, high energy bills due to constantly running the air-conditioning or the heat was less of a concern. Now into August, energy bills are certainly seeing the impact of continuous AC, especially energy bills for those in low-income or shoddily-built housing. 

Much has been written about the cycle of poverty low-income Americans face by the failures of energy efficiency. And there has been a focus in some communities, though relatively small, on weatherization and energy efficiency programs that aim to reduce costs for households burdened by high energy bills. The coronavirus has starkly highlighted, as it has done with a wide breadth of issues, the necessity of these programs. 

As the country and communities begin to draft legislative packages to curb the economic fallout of the coronavirus, weatherization and energy efficiency programs should be included, especially with winter ahead and the timeline for a return to offices and normalcy largely unknown. Such programs provide jobs and benefits to low-income communities, which have been most vulnerable to the worst of the pandemic. 

 

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