The Interconnections between Health and Climate

Understanding the link between health and climate is vital. Lowering our electricity usage improves overall health by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and, in some cases, peaker plants. These sources contribute significantly to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, harming our air quality. Learn how we are actively working to reduce peaker plant usage and make a positive impact on health outcomes.
February 21, 2024

Meltek’s Role on New York’s Health

Peaker plants, high-polluting energy sources activated during peak demand spikes, disproportionately affect health in New York’s lowest-income neighborhoods. They are primarily used to meet the increased demand for electricity during peak times, such as hot summer days when the use of air conditioning rises sharply or cold winter mornings when heating needs spike. Interested in learning more? Read more about them here

At Meltek, we help prevent peaker plants from being used by reducing our users’ energy consumption during peak demand times. We believe any amount of energy saved is significant (no matter how small) and that saving energy is not as complicated as it sounds. We share energy savings tips all year at our Buzz Blogs and showcase their impact on our communities. Studies have repeatedly shown that children living within a few miles of a peaker plant are more likely to suffer from asthma and other health and developmental issues. By becoming more energy efficient, we can reduce this risk.

Global Impact of Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Research done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory highlights these concerns. Their study found that improving energy efficiency in buildings could reduce global energy demand by 16% by 2050, equivalent to the current energy demand of the European Union. This significant reduction in energy demand would lead to a 10% decrease in global carbon dioxide emissions. Our customers contribute to this by lowering demand during energy-saving events.

Quantifying this in terms of health benefits among the public

A study by the American Lung Association and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) analyzed the health and climate benefits of energy efficiency in American homes. The report found that improving energy efficiency in homes could prevent 1,600 premature deaths, 1,700 heart attacks, and 1,800 asthma attacks annually. Additionally, it could save $20 billion in health care costs and $14 billion in energy costs, while reducing carbon emissions by 28 million metric tons.

Monetizing Health Benefits at a Global Scale

A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology analyzed the global health and climate co-benefits of energy efficiency in buildings. The research found that investing in energy efficiency in buildings could save over 1.6 million lives and avoid 695,000 premature deaths by 2050. It also estimated that these health benefits could result in $184 trillion in global savings from reduced healthcare costs and increased labor productivity.

As the world continues to understand the links between climate change and health, the importance of energy efficiency in buildings as a solution becomes more apparent. You can start sustainable practices on a small scale, such as unplugging ACs, regulating your thermostat, or better monitoring the usage of your appliances and devices. Meltek is here to remind you when to reduce consumption for the betterment of our environment and health and for the maintenance of the grid. 

Don’t forget to sign up for this year’s season starting March 1. Signing up during the month of March means you earn more money during energy-saving events during the summer.

Further Reading