New Hampshire Has Some of the Highest Energy Bills in the Nation, Will Receive Little Aid from So-Called “Stimulus”
Washington- New reports out today show that the Democrats’ so-called “stimulus” bill – which Rep. Carol Shea-Porter voted for (D-NH) – will funnel a large amount of taxpayer funds to help keep homes in the sunbelt cooler, instead of helping North Easterners keep their homes warmer during the cold winter months.
Despite the fact that New Hampshire families are strapped with heating bills that average 16 cents per kilowatt – compared to the 9.72 cents that Georgia residents pay – Carol Shea-Porter threw her support behind the Democrats’ massive “stimulus” bill, which failed to ensure that the funds would only go to those who need it the most. Last year, an average of 16% of residential electric accounts in New Hampshire were in arrears, averaging a total of $219. (Energy Information Administration, Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government, Electric Power Monthly with data for January 2009, http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html, 2008 Individual State Report by the NARUC, Consumer Affairs Subcommittee On Collections Data Gathering, http://www.naruc.org/Publications/2008%20NARUC%20Collections%20Survey%20Report.pdf)
“Carol Shea-Porter left her constituents out in the cold by supporting this so-called ‘stimulus’ which has no accountability measures in place to make sure the funds go to those families who need it the most,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Carol Shea-Porter failed to deliver relief to New Hamsphire families who face some of the most burdensome energy costs in the country.”
According to today’s New York Times, “stimulus” funds won’t go to those who need it the most:
“The federal government is spending $5 billion in stimulus money to weatherize homes across the country. That is almost as much as it has spent on weatherization since the program was created in the 1970s to cut heating bills and conserve oil for low-income people.
But this year, there is a twist.
“An unusually large share of the money will be spent not on keeping cold air out but on keeping cold air in. As a result of a political compromise with Sun Belt lawmakers last decade, the enormous expansion of the weatherization program will invoke a rarely used formula that will devote 31 percent of the money, nearly double the old share of 16 percent, to help states in hot climates, like Florida, save on air-conditioning....
“But there are substantial questions about whether it is the most efficient way to save energy.
“The nation spends twice as much on heating as on cooling, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, and it consumes more energy heating homes than cooling them. When it comes to emissions of heat-trapping gases, the department found, home heating is responsible for emitting twice as much carbon dioxide as home cooling. And a 2005 survey of home energy use by the agency found that the average household in New England spent $1,188 a year on heating, while the average household in Florida spent $597 on air-conditioning....
“In the past, cold states received two-thirds of the weatherization money; now they will take just over half.” (Cooper, “Stimulus Funds Spent to Keep Sun Belt Cool,” New York Times, June 8, 2009)