ENERGY ECONOMICS BHATTACHARYA PDF
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Objectives. This course provides students with an introduction to the principles of energy economics and related policy applications. The main objective is to. analyze the issues of energy and environmental economics. . ppti.info com/content/dam/bp/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-statistical-. Since its modest beginning in the s, the academic and research focus on energy has grown substantially and energy has established itself as an.
Participants described a range of energy conservation strategies, some more elaborate than others. Many practiced vigilance in energy consumption using lights, heating equipment and other appliances sparingly so as to minimize costs.
Some participants sought thermal comfort by insulating their homes to reduce drafts and addressing other sources of heat loss. However, the inability to regulate temperatures and the consideration of costs led some to sacrifice comfort and jeopardize health and safety.
For example, under desperate circumstances, some described using space heaters to compensate for inadequate thermal comfort, and others used the stove or oven as improvisational heating methods.
Bill-paying behaviors described by participants included juggling expenses by paying down utilities debt using funds from annual tax returns when available or making partial payments to keep the services on while simultaneously accruing debt for the unpaid portion. Other participants drew on external resources such as fuel assistance administered through local organizations to help pay bills.
Fuel assistance is typically applied directly to the utility bill and renewed annually for those fortunate to qualify and enlist when resources are available.
However, several participants described being turned away as federal and state-sponsored fuel assistance resources are often quickly exhausted in high demand areas such as Boston, leaving needy households with few options for relief.
Understanding ‘energy insecurity’ and why it matters to health
In the event of a shut-off, households sacrificed by drawing on basic survival skills using non-energy sources to store and prepare food until they obtained the needed funds to reinstate the services. Many utility companies offer shutoff protection for eligible households, including those with very young children and elderly inhabitants or those with medical conditions that require household energy, though this stipulation varies by utility company and state-level policy U. Department of Health and Human Services.
At the time of data collection, shut-off protection in Massachusetts required a letter from a qualified medical provider and was subject to renewal every 90 days. Many study participants with young children or medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or mental health disabilities qualified for this renewable protection.
However, leveraging medical vulnerabilities proved an insufficient and unsustainable method of shielding a household from energy insecurity since arrearages mounted and participants were, in essence, trapped when unable to transfer accounts with balances to a new residence.
Participants noted key challenges in receiving helpful information on energy savings and available resources in marginalized communities, feeling that nothing could be done to improve the circumstances.
Still others simply hoped for more and had faith that they would overcome the energy hardships they encountered. Ultimately, the persistence of such economic and physical deficiencies posed significant environmental, health and social risks. Adverse consequences of energy insecurity Study participants identified a number of adverse environmental, health and social consequences related to the energy insecurity problem.
Whether renters or owners, the economic and physical housing hardships and negative behavioral strategies significantly compromised resident health and environmental quality as well as exacerbated conditions of social disadvantage. Poor housing quality and lack of proper maintenance i.
Further, the use of stoves for heat was a common strategy for seeking thermal comfort yet doing so induces harmful exposures shown to jeopardize health and safety Lanphear et al. The lack of comfortable home temperatures also exacerbated asthma symptoms, particularly during winter months. Economic hardships and poor physical conditions also contributed to chronic stress Evans and Kantrowitz, ; McEwen, Participants described feeling worried about fuel bills and the deteriorated conditions of their home environments.
The experience of energy insecurity also triggered mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Several participants mentioned involvement with medical providers for adversity-related mental health treatment or to leverage a medical vulnerability for shut-off protection purposes.
The constant threat of service interruptions due to non-payment fueled parental fear and stigma. Some participants expressed feelings of shame and a disruption of family life when living through a utility service disconnection.
Moving represented a way out of the discomfort with some participants moving frequently to escape both faulty heating systems and high bills. However, this coping strategy brings with it negative consequences, as residential instability spurs the loss of social network and institutional ties, which comes at a significant cost in terms of social capital.
Strengths, limitations and future directions This article presents a comprehensive view of a hidden source of hardship-energy insecurity. Although the original purpose of this study was to examine housing problems experienced by low-income householders, the phenomenon of energy insecurity emerged from a rigorous examination of the data using an adapted grounded theory approach.
This process uncovered the dimensions of energy insecurity along with its adverse environmental, health and social consequences. Notwithstanding these strengths, the exploratory nature of the research may omit other critical aspects of this phenomenon that did not surface in the analysis. Warm weather burdens and cooling hardships borne by those in hotter climates should be explored in future research.
These results should be used to inform larger epidemiological studies to validate the links between energy insecurity and various health outcomes pertaining to overall health and in particular respiratory and mental health.
Energy Economics: Concepts, Issues, Markets and Governance
These findings should also motivate refinement of existing measures of energy insecurity, which to date focus heavily on shut-offs, inability to pay and using alternative heating sources rather than the more comprehensive dimensions of energy insecurity exposed in the present article U. Discussion 5. The energy insecurity pathway to disease and disadvantage The present analysis focused on the lived experiences of energy insecurity among low-income householders. The evocative narratives presented above highlight the salience of material hardship in determining an outcome of vulnerability that renders keeping the lights on and staying warm an everyday challenge for poor households throughout the United States.
As demonstrated by the results, energy insecurity is an important social, economic and environmental determinant of health.
It is a manifestation of poverty comprised not only of an imbalanced ratio of household income to energy expenditures but also one that includes physical and behavioral realms of hardship. The provisioning of infrastructure services in India is steadily moving away from the realm of government to that of private sector..
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