How will people afford to heat their homes?

Fuel poverty, that is to say people who can't afford to heat their homes, is at all time high levels in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. It causes at times a terrible human condition, death, which is estimated as 8,000 people per year in the U.K. There have been calls for immediate "super energy efficiency." No doubt the rest of the world is affected, also.

Heating oil prices in the U.S. are topping $4.11/gal(up), propane $2.90/gal(up), natural gas $10.00/per Thousand Cubic Feet(down), according to the latest from the Feds-EIA. Electricity, at least in the East has shown a gentle decline, due to lower coal prices, warmer winter temperatures, and increased natural gas generation. Nationwide it's $.1152/kwh, up 4% from last year.

Groups of children are feeling the need to respond to this crisis. In Dudley, MA, an elementary school is raising $1,000 per month to give to those in need. Similar efforts in elementary schools across the world are taking place.

In Dunedin, NZ, there's a subsidized insulation program, up to 75%, for families in need.  Also, up to a $2,000 grant on heaters. 2700 homes have been involved in upgrades since 2007.

Of course the established help progams, like LIHEAP, are still in place. The administration in the White House has answered high gasoline prices, which presently range $3.50 to 6.25/gal, with a "broad energy policy." That means more drilling, research, and higher MPG for vehicles. Of course there are various energy efficiency provisions in the budget, some of which will survive. Very few homes run on gasoline as a fuel source, except for electrical backup generation.

The burning questions are: what are we doing to help those who are in need now, how will we help them in the future, what are we doing to improve the home energy front with practical and low-buck solutions with immediate payback, and are we starting more assistance programs that can benefit humanity now?

Tom DelConte

March 2, 2012 

Views: 437

Tags: beings, electricity, gas, heating, human, natural, oil, poverty, price, propane, More…subsidies

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Tom Delconte on March 13, 2012 at 11:21am

Comment from Marsha Russell, UsaToday blogger:  Good post Tom. I work with poor seniors so I see it all the time. Without Chavez, our poor would be much worse off. In the end only some ever care, many do not at all. What I know for sure is that some of those who don't give a damn will end up in poverty themselves. This economy has shown a lot of people poverty that they never believed would happen to them.

Comment by Bob Blanchette on March 6, 2012 at 6:28pm

Whats really sad it the homeowners will keep the house at 75 degrees until then run out of money then they freeze...

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Hal Skinner commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"Hi Kurt.  I am in Modesto.  If you have the grey comp shingled on your roof (Roofing…"
6 minutes ago
Kurt Shafer commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"All, I have been trying out a radiant barrier from atticfoil.com (not my co.)  I see that you…"
18 minutes ago
Hal Skinner replied to Aaren Stewart's discussion HVAC - Cooling and Heating Load Reduction
"Hi Aaren. Check out the group below.  Some RCCs are very versatile and can be used on…"
21 minutes ago
Kurt Shafer joined Hal Skinner's group
Thumbnail

The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)

A group where energy professionals can learn about all the different energy saving aspects of…See More
28 minutes ago
Hannah Finch posted a blog post

Not too Late to Join the RaterFest! Party THIS Weekend!

RaterFest! kicks off this Friday, September 5, at Covenant Heights in Estes Park, CO. We still have…See More
45 minutes ago
Hal Skinner replied to Kurt Shafer's discussion Where can I find the best radiant barrier to install under my roof?
"Hi Kurt, You can find some information on Radiant Control Coatings in the group listed…"
49 minutes ago
Profile IconPing Wang, Whitney Cooper and Mike Burton joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
54 minutes ago
Ping Wang commented on Michael Stuart's group INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY USERS
"Hello Everyone, we produce and export Infrared heating lamp used for various food oven,industrial…"
58 minutes ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service