Many people wrote some version of the same comment:
”I am retired, and I do not have a large income. I can’t afford to buy a Tesla or a Solar Panel. Please do not pass unfounded mandates. Please help us find the money to do climate-smart work. We sympathise with the need for change, but help us to find the money.”
We took that very seriously, Our previous blog posts on this topic noted that the Town Resolution calling for us to get to zero carbon by 2030 also noted the critical importance of bringing in outside resources to help. And, our blog responses earlier this year noted that we would try to do whatever we could to make this happen.
Now, there are at least two great new happenings.
First, the Infrastructure Law that the Président is going to sign into law this week includes a massive amount of money specifically to help low- and moderate- income people (and, according to the Federal Guidelines, that is a LOT of us), to weatherise and improve our homes. It is not clear what the timing and mechanism for this will be.
It’s interesting, but statistics show that 71% of electricity today is used in our homes and buildings. (HERE). Certainly that is true here, and these energy spends are about half of our total carbon footprint.
The better news is that we have, today, in our bank account, I allocated money from the first action by our Federal government, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
ARPA had a number of specific ways the funds could be used. One of these specific ways was to help low- and moderate- income people with weatherization and energy upgrades.
In Fairfax, we care about the Climate.
In Fairfax, we care about Social Justice, and our economically disadvantaged people.
In Fairfax, we have money that the Federal Government earmarked for this purpose.
On Tuesday night, the Climate Action Committee will host its regular meeting. Among the things we will do, we will consider a recommendation to the Town Council to allocate a large amount of this otherwise unallocated money to one of the specifically enumerated purposes of that law.
The Town heard you, when you said you needed help to do what needs to be done, and we have been looking for ways to help. The Town needs to hear from you again, so we will follow through.
Join us. Together, we can be the change we wish to see.