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Report: Changes Needed To Lower Energy Costs For The Low-Income

High energy costs for lower income families can create a sharp inability to pay and can also lead to negative health outcomes, a study released Thursday by a policy organization stated.

It also issued calls for steps to provide further assistance to households to meet their needs and reduce financial strife.

The study from the Michigan League for Public Policy reported households of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level face an average shortfall of $1,315 annually between their energy costs and what they can afford to pay.

Since 2018 law, Iowa utilities are doing a lot less to help customers save energy

Iowa’s largest utilities have dramatically scaled back efforts to help customers conserve energy since a 2018 law gutted the state’s efficiency requirements. Dire predictions about the legislation’s impact have largely come true, with combined energy savings of the state’s two largest utilities falling more than 50% since lawmakers voted to limit spending on efficiency programs.

Before Cranking Up the AC, Think of the Energy Burden

Cooling your home is necessary, but groups such as the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance say there are actions you can take to protect others and the environment. The Alliance's Programs Director, Molly Graham, said a lot of it comes down to timing.

"So, maybe around 3 p.m. to 8 or 9, when most people are at home or getting home from work - we're washing dishes, doing laundry, watching TV," said Graham. "So, there are times during the day that put greater stress on the electric grid than other times."

DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance Program Helps 5,000 Customers in Need in 2020, Reducing Bills While Saving Energy

Program is honored by Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance with 2021 Inspiring Efficiency Award for Helping Income-Qualified Customers

DTE invested over $23 million across 2019 and 2020 in program incentives to support single family, income-qualified customers with the help of community action agencies and nonprofit organizations across Michigan. The EEA program served approximately 4,700 limited income customers in 2019 and another 5,000 in 2020. The program achieved over 50,000 MCF net gas savings and 75,000 MWH in net electric savings in 2020 alone. 

DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance Program Helps 5,000 Customers in Need in 2020, Reducing Bills While Saving Energy

DTE Energy helped approximately 5,000 vulnerable customers lower their energy bills in 2020 while significantly reducing natural gas and electricity usage. Now the program that delivered these results, DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA), has earned an award from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) recognizing its efforts to keep energy affordable for thousands of the company’s most in-need customers.

Decorah's Andy Johnson recognized by a Midwest energy alliance

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance on Tuesday, March 23rd, presented one of its 17th annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards to Winneshiek Energy District Executive Director Andy Johnson.

Johnson and the Winneshiek Energy District received a Leadership Award for being "a tireless advocate of efforts to make energy conservation a part of life in Winneshiek County and adjacent communities for more than 10 years."