Vulnerable, low-income people in our community are unable to stay safely warm in winter and cool in summer.
EnergyCare serves low-income people in St. Louis City and County who are facing the problem of “energy poverty”. Energy poverty occurs where people cannot afford to keep their homes safely warm in winter or cool in summer. For example:
- Elderly people who can’t afford to repair their furnace wearing coats to bed and using their oven to stay warm
- People with serious medical problems getting sicker because they are exposed to dangerously high temperatures in houses without air conditioning
- Families skipping meals so they can pay extremely high utility bills
Every day EnergyCare meets people facing problems like these.
The impact on the lives of vulnerable people is difficult to over-state. Exposure to extremes of temperature can easily be fatal, particularly for the people EnergyCare serves – those who are elderly, chronically ill, disabled and children under 5 years old.
- Heat related illness – ‘hyperthermia‘ kills more Americans each year than earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes combined. St. Louis has the 4th highest rate of heat deaths in the US.
- Exposure to the cold or ‘hypothermia‘ causes over 1,500 deaths per year in the USA.
- Both extremes of temperature can have a major impact on people who are already unwell and can greatly exacerbate existing conditions.
In addition, poorly insulated homes in low-income neighborhoods make it difficult to stay warm, create high utility bills that reducing income for other necessities, and increase the risk of utility disconnection.
Click here to find out more about how EnergyCare is addressing energy poverty in the St. Louis area.