Destenie Nock of Carnegie Mellon University on Fixing Energy Poverty
My research group investigates how energy poverty will be affected by energy transitions an creates methods for identifying who is experiencing energy poverty when people hear the word poverty they usually think of people who have trouble affording their basic needs and the energy space most people assume in individuals energy port if they spend more than six percent of their income meeting their energy needs. The problem is that this assumes everyone is spending all the money. They need to keep their house at a comfortable temperature cook and use all of the other electricity appliances. We have become dependent on this misses. The people who use space heaters and their ovens to heat their homes due to high natural gas and oil prices and what about the people who keep their houses really hot in the summer because they cannot afford electricity in my research group we have created an energy poverty metric called the energy equity gap which identifies the households that are cutting their electricity consumption to reduce their financial burden. The energy equity gap is based on the difference in outdoor temperatures which members of different income groups are likely to start using their a c. We find that. The energy equity gap between low in high income groups ranges from four point seven degrees fahrenheit to seven point five degrees fahrenheit meaning on average low income households. Wait seven degrees longer to turn. On their ac units. Some households will even wait until it is above eighty degrees. This puts them at risk of heat. Stroke and heat. Exhaustion foregoing air-conditioning also increases the humidity in the house meaning the occupants will be at greater risk from mold asthma and allergens. We hope this new dimension of energy poverty will be used in addition to traditional income based energy poverty metrics to reduce the number of people suffering from energy poverty.