As society reevaluates its approach to energy, we will need to consider not just where our energy comes from but also how much we consume and the relationship between our energy choices and public health. Reducing energy use by increasing energy efficiency in our buildings and appliances impacts our carbon footprint and public health outcomes by, for example, reducing thermal distress, asthma triggers, and energy burdens (thus freeing up some income for medical treatment). Energy efficiency is also a key tool for reducing energy burdens–the percentage of income allocated to energy costs–which are particularly acute for low-income populations. The Center for Energy Law and Policy convened an interdisciplinary team and worked with nonprofit, industry, and government experts to evaluate low-income energy efficiency opportunities from an economic, sociological, and legal perspective and to explore synergies between energy efficiency and public health efforts. This work will provide insights that can inform policymakers’ efforts to incentivize low-income energy efficiency programs and improve public health outcomes.
The Center for Energy Law and Policy is proud to collaborate with our colleagues in the Hamer Center for Community Design in Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture on this project. Our interdisciplinary team includes:
- Rahman Azari, PhD, Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of RE2 Laboratory
- Seth Blumsack, PhD, Co-Director of the Center for Energy Law and Policy and Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics and International Affairs
- Jingyu Guo, Penn State Harrisburg, School of Public Affairs
- Michael Helbing, JD, Staff Attorney, Center for Energy Law and Policy
- Lisa Domenica Iulo, M.Arch., Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Hamer Center for Community Design
- Daniel J. Mallinson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs
- Selena Ortiz, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Demography
- Tasneem Tariq, M.Arch.
- Hannah Wiseman, JD, Co-Director of the Center for Energy Law and Policy, Professor of Law, Professor and Wilson Faculty Fellow in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
- Megan S. Wright, JD, PhD, Associate Professor of Law, Medicine, and Sociology