A third of all the families in the United States are in need of some sort of energy assistance – and they’re disproportionately people of color
Reality Check | ecoWURD | radio
Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of National Energy Assistance Directors Association, joins ecoWURD radio on WURD’s Reality Check w/ Charles Ellison for a discussion on just how massive the need is for energy assistance of some kind in the United States – and how the pandemic has amplified that need.
“There is very little money to reach about one out of five families that need help,” said Wolfe. “This year, Congress in the first stimulus bill gave us an extra $900 billion. But again, it’s kind of a drop in the bucket when you think about the extent of need, then all the new families that were not low income, you know, before the pandemic or now low income because they lost a job.
“Then the newest thing is the stimulus bill that they’re currently fighting about. There’s another billion dollars behind us in both the House and Senate version so far, but we really don’t know when that’s going to pass. So there is money available. We don’t think it’s enough. But there are funds that are out there and we’re expecting more Congress. This ties with the unemployment rate, and the need for a continued the additional $600 a week for families. If they don’t get that $600 they will need help for their energy bill. So all these sort of issues are a really big concern. We shouldn’t be looking at energy assistance in isolation. It’s really part of a package and helping struggling families.”