Reimagined Communities
An Overlooked Climate, Health, and Social Crisis: Energy Burden

An Overlooked Climate, Health, and Social Crisis: Energy Burden

May 11, 2022

The record high inflation is hurting millions of Americans. While economists expect that the inflation rate will ease a little bit, it does not seem like it will be a significant drop due to supply chain constraints from the COVID-19 surge in Asia and the raging war in Ukraine. The soaring cost of energy is one of the pain points for American consumers. As the summer approaches, electricity rates are expected to increase further, while gasoline prices continue to remain sky high.  

High energy prices hurt the poor the most, who have to decide between putting food to the table or keeping the lights on. A household paying more than 6% of its annual income on utility bills is considered a household with a high energy burden. More than 15 million households in the U.S. spend over 10% of their annual income on energy bills, which means they have a severe energy burden. Often, such a burden is due to waste of energy from poor insulation and inefficient appliances. Sharonda Williams-Tack, Associate Director of the Healthy Communities Campaign at the Sierra Club, explains energy burden and the importance of addressing it if we are serious about cutting energy waste and tackling climate change.

How Fishermen and Wind Industry Could Work Together

How Fishermen and Wind Industry Could Work Together

April 9, 2022

Offshore wind is about to take off in the U.S. And there is huge excitement about it, except for the fishing industry. In fact, offshore wind is a new threat to fishermen, including for those in my town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, who want to have none of it. Offshore wind is considered as one of the important ways for the country to transition to a clean energy economy. But fishermen all across the eastern seaboard believe it will kill their jobs and entire fishing communities.

Despite their resistance, offshore wind projects are moving forward. The fishing industry may have no choice but to adapt to this nascent energy sector and find ways to work with it as much as it refuses to do it right now. And there might be ways the two could find a common ground. We discuss win-win solutions that could work for wind and fishing industries with Bob Myers, a clean energy expert based in Gloucester.

Looking Ahead in 2022

Looking Ahead in 2022

January 24, 2022

In 2021, Reimagined Communities highlighted some of the inspiring stories of how climate and clean energy activists across America have led their cities to adopt energy transition commitments. As more and more municipalities and states want to go green and ditch fossil fuels, it is all the more important that the transition is just and equitable. In 2022, Reimagined Communities looks forward covering stories on how such a transition is happening.

The Youth Leading the Energy Transition in Conservative Idaho

The Youth Leading the Energy Transition in Conservative Idaho

November 21, 2021

Young people are the rising force behind a bold climate action from Glasgow in Scotland to a small town America. The anxiety over the future of the planet is driving the youth in some of the politically conservative areas of America to climate and clean energy activism in their communities. Nicole Xiao and Devon Conway, two high school students in a small city of Moscow in Idaho, are making waves more than most adults who have the power and ability to do something about climate change. They share their story of clean energy transition activism, which is about to drastically change the future of their city in coming months.

Moving a Green Agenda in a Republican-run City: The Story of the Millers

Moving a Green Agenda in a Republican-run City: The Story of the Millers

November 10, 2021

How do clean energy and climate activists in GOP-dominated municipalities and counties gain political support and make a difference in their communities? Pat and Steve Miller in Middletown, New Jersey, who are pushing their Republican-run city for a 100 percent renewable energy transition, share their recipe on how to navigate a politically challenging environment and move a green agenda through it.

A Powerful Tool for Cities to Clean Up the Grid

A Powerful Tool for Cities to Clean Up the Grid

October 20, 2021

Community choice aggregation, or CCA, which is also known as municipal aggregation, is one of the best ways for towns and cities in the U.S. to decarbonize the power grid and even transition to a 100 percent renewable energy, if it is done right. By definition, CCAs allow municipalities to have more control over their energy supply, buy it from greener sources, and save money on energy. But what is CCA, how does it work, what are its pros and cons, do all CCAs work the same way, and would it work in your community? Today’s episode explores this potentially powerful local tool against climate change.

A Small New Hampshire Town‘s Journey to 100 Percent Renewables

A Small New Hampshire Town‘s Journey to 100 Percent Renewables

September 29, 2021

On May 2021, 74 percent of residents of the town of Peterborough in New Hampshire voted for a community-wide transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent renewable heat and transportation by 2050. The power behind such a great voter during the time of the pandemic is Dori Drachman, who led the effort to put this ambitious climate action on the ballot. She is chair of the Peterborough Energy Action, a grassroots organization dedicated to move the town of Peterborough in New Hampshire to 100 percent clean, affordable, renewable energy for all. Dori shares how she and other volunteers made the clean energy transition commitment possible and what kind of work lies ahead for her community to begin the implementation phase of the transition.

All is not lost because of climate change. Here is why

All is not lost because of climate change. Here is why

September 16, 2021

Reimagined Communities brings you stories of clean energy transition in American communities.

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