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July 27, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Making solar power available to low-income DC residents

ENVIRONMENT/EQUITY | D.C., which is committed to getting half of its energy from renewable sources by 2032, has set aside almost a third of its funding for solar initiatives to specifically target low-income residents. Besides not having the considerable resources needed to access solar power, lower-income households often face energy bills that are disproportionately high (Atlantic, 7/26):

While the city’s highest-profile efforts have focused on the availability of housing, it is now devoting some attention to helping poorer households save money on their energy bills. Utility bills for low earners can eat up as much as 10 percent of household income, according to a report from Groundswell, a nonprofit focused on energy issues. For the highest 20 percent of earners, utilities make up less than 2 percent of expenditures. But it’s not just a matter of percentages: Poorer families actually tend to have higher utilities bills, usually because their homes are less energy-efficient. On average, a monthly utility bill cost an American household around $115 in 2013, by Groundswell’s calculations, but poorer families were significantly more likely to have bills that topped $200 every month.

EDUCATION | The new head of Montgomery County Public Schools, Jack Smith, sees the racial achievement gap as being the most critical challenge facing the county’s school system. (WaPo, 7/26)

HEALTH | The DC Department of Health launched a pilot program earlier this year to make a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses called Narcan available to drug users, but so far demand for the drug has far outstripped supply. (CP, 7/21)

EARLY ED/WORKFORCE/EQUITY | A new report finds that, thanks to extremely low pay, nearly half of the country’s childcare workers receive some form of government assistance. (WaPo, 7/11)

HOMELESSNESS | Homeless in relentless heat (WaPo, 7/26)

NONPROFITS | Opinion: New Overtime Rules Are Good for Nonprofits — and Good for America (Chronicle, 7/26)

GIVING | Giving Up Only Slightly in First Half of 2016, Report Says (Chronicle, 7/26)


Oh how lovely.

-Rebekah

P.S. The (Almost) Daily will be back on Friday.

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