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: 433

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

Don Fitchett commented on Diane Chojnowski's group Facebook Pages
"I just went through the 1st 2 pages of member's facebook pages liking them. While our training…"
13 minutes ago
Don Fitchett joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Facebook Pages

Does your company or organization have a Facebook Page?This group is for pros who have facebook…See More
49 minutes ago
Mike Kandel added 3 discussions to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
1 hour ago
Mike Kandel posted discussions
1 hour ago
EnergyLogic Academy updated an event

RESNET Phase 2 Rater Training - Field Training at EnergyLogic Academy - Berthoud CO

September 22, 2014 to September 24, 2014
The EnergyLogic Academy will be hosting the second phase of HERS Rater Training August 4th - 7th,…See More
1 hour ago
Mike Kandel commented on David Byrnes's blog post Strategies To Keep Millennials At Their Peak Performance In A Home Performance Company
"David - I'd like to speak with you about this article. Please email me at mkandel@bpi.org."
1 hour ago
Hal Skinner replied to Richard Beyer's discussion Spontaneous Combustion and Flash Fire regarding Spray Foam Insulation
"This thread has certainly turned into what sounds like  a thread from a fire safety website…"
4 hours ago
Barbara Smith replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"RIVEC is a project of the Lawrence Berkeley Lab.  It's a residential ventilation fan…"
5 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"Richard, I don't "Know" that the earth is not flat, but I'm pretty confident it…"
6 hours ago
Shawn O'Neill replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"    Great discussion and points brought up via this "fuse" lit.  More…"
6 hours ago
John Proctor commented on Christopher Morin's blog post How do You Test a TXV?
"Oh yes one more item. There has to be a combination of water and ice to achieve 32 degrees F. That…"
6 hours ago
John Proctor commented on Christopher Morin's blog post How do You Test a TXV?
"Thank you for the nice post. Remember that the important thing is the actual superheat that…"
7 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service