skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Energy-Efficiency Programs Aid Virginians with High Utility Costs

play audio
Play

Thursday, August 17, 2023   

Growing energy prices have Virginians seeking relief to high utility bills. Earlier this year, Appalachian Power announced its customers will see a $20 increase in their electric bills.

As the world moves to a more sustainable climate future, there are programs to help people make their homes more energy efficient, thus reducing energy use. One is the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income homeowners make homes more energy efficient and weather resistant.

Kajsa Foskey, economic justice outreach coordinator for the Virginia Poverty Law Center, noted the COVID-19 pandemic was a major factor for high utility bills.

"A lot of folks over that pandemic, it really hit them hard, and when the utilities resumed disconnections during that time, there were some folks who had really large balances that had accumulated over the pandemic," Foskey observed. "Because they were prioritizing paying other more pressing bills like rent, making sure groceries and medications were paid for."

A study from the Rocky Mountain institute showed the pandemic drove utility cost increases. Appalachian Power and Dominion Energy offer their own weatherization programs as well, and could include an energy audit, to evaluate how a house could be losing heat or air conditioning, as well as other cost-saving measures.

In November, the Percentage of Income Payment Plan from the Department of Social Services and the Department of Housing and the Community Development will begin operating. This plan came about after the Virginia Clean Economy Act was passed in 2020.

Foskey described how the program will work.

"The program is really to make energy more affordable and reduce energy burdens and insecurity for low-income Virginians," Foskey pointed out. "Especially, if you live in a monopoly system where, if you can't afford the cost of your electricity, you can't go to another supplier and say, 'Hey, can you offer me cheaper electricity?'"

The plan reduced energy burdens of eligible people by limiting electric bill payments to no more than 6% of the person's annual income, if the heating source is anything other than electricity. It would be no more than 10% of a person's income, if the heating source is electricity.

Disclosure: The Virginia Poverty Law Center contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Housing/Homelessness, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…

Environment

play sound

Two new solar farms will soon be under construction in the Lexington and Lebanon areas to bring affordable and clean energy to eastern Kentuckians…


Ohio resident Jeremy Madden, his wife and their adopted daughter. (Jeremy Madden)

Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

Social Issues

play sound

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

North Carolina is home to 934,604 small businesses. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the group Radical Elders are participating in a Chicago tech conference this weekend to explain the impact of technology on older Americans…

play sound

Danskammer Energy is no longer seeking an expansion of its Newburgh plant. The original plan called for expanding the company's "peaker plant" meant …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021