Solar Assistance:

Fuel Poverty

Much public attention is given to energy prices, and in recent years an increasing amount of attention has been given to the environmental implications of the world’s energy use habits. Despite this, one major aspect of the picture is disproportionately left out of the global energy discussion:

When supplies are uncertain and energy prices spike, it is the poor of this world who carry the vast majority of this burden.

What does it mean for the economic burden of those in poverty to increase further?   It means a regression in societal goals to achieve a basic standard of living and opportunity for all global citizens. It means the conflicting needs of food, medical care, housing, and warmth are in even tighter competition. It means a greater gap between suitable living conditions and actual living conditions. It means a widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots. It means a greater taxpayer burden to attempt to remediate some of these effects.
In short, it means an increase in the deterioration of the human condition for an ever-increasing portion of the human population.

In 2009, 591,951 households who applied for fuel assistance and qualified were turned away in Minnesota because of lack of funding. As a result, low-income households sacrifice necessities.

All this boils down to the fact that Home Energy is a crippling financial burden for low income Minnesotans, and that this burden is increasing every year. Additionally, although LIHEAP funds are crucial the solution it presents is neither sufficient nor long term.