Sponsored by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia
For many of us, summer is a time to celebrate and enjoy sunny days with our loved ones. However, summers in the District of Columbia can also pose significant challenges for families, neighbors, and the environment. When temperatures soar in the District, many households find themselves using more energy to keep their homes cool and comfortable. This not only puts stress on the power grid, but it also strains residents’ budgets — especially those who live in older homes. According to a recent study, the energy consumed for air conditioning, cooling, and powering residential buildings makes up 20% of the total annual energy usage in the United States, and older homes tend to produce more carbon emissions.
The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia‘s (DCPSC) Summer Ready DC campaign has helped District utility consumers weatherize their homes or businesses to help reduce their utility bills since 2015. The DCPSC provides consumers with information on utility assistance programs and offers weatherization tips, tools, and techniquesto increase energy efficiency and conservation. Unfortunately, many families find themselves having to choose between essential expenses like medication, groceries, and childcare, or paying their energy bills. U.S.Census data reveals that low-income households spend an average of 8.1% of their income on energy costs, while wealthier households spend only 2.3%. Utility consumers can prevent high energy bills and do their part to combat the effects of climate change with just a few small steps. The DCPSC has prepared helpful checklists, in both English and Spanish, to ensure your home is in good shape and that it’s ready for summer weather.
Weatherization during the summer months, which is also referred to as summer-proofing, safeguards the inside and outside of a residence or structure against scorching heat, strong winds, or heavy downpours. This lowers energy consumption, boosts efficiency, diminishes your carbon footprint, and preserves the environment. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found that making energy upgrades could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050. Homeowners or renters who take steps to weatherize their home can save 20%-30% on their utility bills, an average of $283 annually. Other benefits of weatherization include improved indoor air quality, reduced sick days among children and adults, and lessening dependence on non-renewable energy sources.Simply put, by weatherizing your home you can enjoy enhanced comfort, safety, and wellbeing.
For the 2023 Summer Ready DC campaign, the DCPSC has partnered with four DC Public Library locations across the city to distribute free weatherization and energy efficiency items to District residents. Attendees of these free outreach events can choose to receive one GE Lighting CYNC smart full color A19 LED light bulb ($10.99 value) or one Frost King white rubber self-stick weatherseal tape ($8.67 value), while supplies last. The kick-off event in Ward 7 at the Benning Neighborhood Library was very popular and the DCPSC was able to distribute hundreds of items to area residents.
As the District’s utility regulator, the DCPSC oversees the local electric, natural gas, and telecom utilities. However, our personal connections with residents, created and maintained through these types of outreach events and community engagements, are at the core of our mission to serve the public interest throughout the year. For more information on the DCPSC, the Summer Ready DC campaign, local clean energy efforts, energy conservation, utility discount programs, or energy service providers, please visit the DCPSC website or follow the Commission on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or here on LinkedIn.