In the midst of record-breaking winter heat waves, RMI and Healthy Air & Water Colorado (HAWC) published a new report on policy solutions to expand equitable access to affordable cooling. Although the report focuses on Colorado, many of the takeaways are relevant nationwide.

Key Report Takeaways

  • Health Impacts: In 2023, Colorado saw over 350 local daily high temperature records broken, with a significant rise in emergency room visits due to heat-related illnesses.
  • Disparities in Cooling Access: 23% of Colorado households lack any form of air conditioning, with disparities exacerbated along ethnic, housing, and income lines. Low-income households face the highest energy burdens, spending up to seven times more on electricity as a proportion of their income.
  • Policy Solutions: The report outlines policy levers for expanding equitable access to efficient cooling while protecting tenants. Options include codes and standards, landlord obligations, and utility disconnection bans. Additionally, heat pump incentives and equitable financing mechanisms can help address the affordability gap.
  • Funding and Financing: The report explores various funding and financing options, including unlocking additional dollars from programs like the Low Income Home Emergency Assistance Program and pursuing equitable financing strategies like tariff on-bill financing.

More About this Resource

Date: March 11, 2024

Type: Not Defined

Tags: Equity

Countries: United States

States: Colorado, National