Interfaith, Climate Organizations React to DC Council Proposed Budget

April 26, 2023

Interfaith, Climate Organizations React to D.C. Council Proposed Budget 

Budget prioritizes affordability, health and climate by proposing funding for beneficial electrification

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the D.C. Council Transportation and Environment Committee released a preliminary budget that will increase affordability across the District by dedicating funding toward utility bill assistance and programs for energy efficiency, weatherization, and beneficial electrification in low-income households. The budget also builds a pipeline to good-paying clean energy jobs for District residents by funding workforce development and job training programs.

The budget proposal dedicates $2 million toward pilot projects in the Deanwood and River Terrace neighborhoods to help low-income households undergo energy efficiency upgrades, weatherization, and beneficial electrification. In response, the Beyond Gas DC coalition of interfaith and climate organizations has released the following statements: 

“This budget is a downpayment toward building a more affordable, livable D.C. for all residents. Low-income households are often stuck with higher monthly utility bills and unhealthy homes because they do not have the capacity to afford home repairs and energy efficiency upgrades. By investing $2 million toward home weatherization, energy efficiency projects, and residential electrification in Deanwood and River Terrace, the D.C. Council is charting a path toward retaining and building Black homeownership in the District,” said Pastor Andre Greene, a strategy team leader for Washington Interfaith Network and pastor of Varick AME Zion Church. “However, we must go further to ensure that the health, economic, and climate benefits of electrification are felt equitably across D.C. by passing legislation to help all low-income Washingtonians retrofit their homes and adopt all-electric appliances.” 

“Today, the Committee of Transportation and Environment has proposed a budget that prioritizes affordability, equity, health, and climate. All D.C. residents deserve to breathe clean air at home in a stable climate, and we have a responsibility to ensure a moral budget that meets those needs. The funding for two pilots in Deanwood and River Terrace forges a pathway for the District – and all U.S. cities – to act in service of our neighbors who need collective investment to electrify at home. For the sake of all DC residents and the common home we share, we applaud this proposal and look forward to the Council passing it shortly,” said Joelle Novey, the director of Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA). 

“To meet Mayor Bowser’s and the D.C. Council’s commitment to end climate pollution by 2045, the District must completely transition off fossil fuels. As D.C. moves toward electricity from 100% renewable sources, we must electrify our buildings and end indoor fossil fuel combustion that damages public health and pollutes the climate. Today’s budget proposal will ensure that the District’s low- and middle-income families will be first in line to benefit from the clean energy transition instead of being forced to bear the brunt of the health impacts and increasing costs of dirty fuels,” said Mark Rodeffer of the Sierra Club D.C. Chapter.