To the editor:
This recession has damaged the safety net of homeless shelters in central Massachusetts, as reduced donations, and shuttered programs begin to stymie our ability to effectively serve the neediest in our community.? This crisis calls for innovation in lieu of new revenue, and there are opportunities on the horizon to effectively reduce the costs of operating our region's shelters and programs.? In fact, as many as 240 homeless shelters and programs in the Bay State depend on oilheat, and the price of heating oil is now around $4/gallon – almost a 30% jump over the last two years. This means that energy costs are taking a big bite out of operating budgets, putting the squeeze on the ?organizations that help serve those most in need.
To that end, the legislature has introduced Bill H 2741, “An Act further promoting energy efficiency and green jobs,” sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge in the senate, which expands energy efficiency measures to oil customers.? Reducing oil consumption is not only good for the customer, but investing in energy efficiency creates good local jobs, helps curb emissions, and keeps more of our energy dollars flowing in the region. This legislation has broad support from oil dealers, plumbing and heating contractors, environmental, low-income and consumer advocates, interfaith organizations, homeless shelter advocates, and energy efficiency organizations.? It is a simple fix to keep reducing our carbon footprint, reducing consumer heating bills, helping the homeless, and keeping Massachusetts as the top energy innovator in the United States, and I hope all of our legislators support this important innovation.