Residential Energy Assistance in Connecticut: Social Inequality and Institutional Response
Seymour Warkov and G. Donald Ferree Jr.
This chapter is based on a research project conducted on behalf of a consortium of public and private organizations concerned with energy policy. It describes some correlates of energy poverty among vulnerable populations in the state of Connecticut ( USA). Organizational and political barriers to the effective integration of survey results and energy policy development are identified.
Although exposure to new oil price increases has been projected for the late 1980s, the "energy crisis" has subsided for most Americans. Energy-linked deprivation continues to affect vulnerable population groups, public concerns with other social problems notwithstanding, while issues surrounding fuel poverty serve as a policy focus for diverse interest groups dealing with the social, economic, psychological, and residential correlates and consequences of energy deprivation (cf. Bradshaw and Harris 1983). For example, the housing impacts of energy price increases are well documented: price increases allow the poor no opportunity to upgrade residential energy efficiency. Federal programs offering assistance for weatherization are deficient as well. "The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now subsidizes about 3.5 million hous-