We’ve all been reeling from the effects of COVID-19. Since March of 2020, our personal and professional lives have been altered in ways both big and small. It’s no different within certain sectors of the economy. Nowhere is this more true than the energy efficiency industry. And within the energy efficiency industry, HVAC contractors may be bearing perhaps the greatest brunt of burdens from COVID-19; they’ve been struggling to get through the pandemic since original restrictions were imposed.
COVID-19 has impacted nearly every industry around the world, so it's no surprise that the energy efficiency industry has been significantly impacted as well. For energy efficiency programs in particular, COVID-19 has created many challenges (and some opportunities), which can be seen in recent changes to the implementation of SEM programs.
The previous two months were a good demonstration of the checks and balances embedded in state governments. There were three cases of back-and-forth vetoes between governors and their state legislatures, resulting in two energy efficiency “wins” and one “loss”. Let’s take a closer look at these cases.
September is here and, with it, possibly the strangest first day of school in recent history. Remote learning, work from home schedules, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, mean many live, work, and play in a full house and rely on energy to connect to the outside world. Soon, heating systems across the country will be switched on for the winter. Consistent and uninterrupted energy to power our lives has never been so important. Unfortunately for many, the pandemic brought economic hardship.
At the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic is the topic of reopening schools, whether that be at the elementary, high school, or university level. The global crisis has shed light on the quality of learning environments, and further emphasizes the growing body of research that establishes the role those environments play in both occupant health and student achievement.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented global pandemic that has impacted our lives in every imaginable way. Even as we adjust, adapt, and begin to reimagine what our future looks like, there is still a lot that is unknown. The energy efficiency and clean energy industry has been quick to respond to the pandemic with moratoriums on utility shutoffs , suspending on-site energy efficiency work, and virtualizing as many processes as possible.
Last week was supposed to be our 2020 NEEP Summit to address Decarbonizing Our Communities to be healthy, resilient, and affordable. We planned to meet in New Haven, Connecticut to explore pathways to accelerate building and transportation decarbonization that create opportunities and solutions for everyone.
As we settle into an undefined period of time at home and away from our offices, my thoughts turn to colleagues and associates throughout the energy sector – particularly those currently unemployed or underemployed: energy raters, HVAC and renewable energy installers, and code officials.
We find ourselves hanging in a careful balance between continuing our work on various plans and policies that started before COVID-19 and managing a new direct response to the pandemic. This policy tracker is the first of a two-part analysis of policies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. This first installment focuses on non-COVID-19 policies. Keep an eye out for the second blog analyzing COVID-19 response efforts.