LIFE Webinar Series Archive Page


To further the dialogue between stakeholders throughout the low-income community, the Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) is proud to host the LIFE Webinar Series.  The LIFE Webinar Series serves as a venue for communicating information on assistance programs and current topics relevant to the low-income field to those involved in addressing the energy needs of low-income energy consumers.  The webinar series is open to all and is available at no cost.

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Use the links below to view previous webinars.  

Communications Lifeline: Universal, Affordable
Phone Service for Low-Income Households

Presenter: Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
1:30pm-2:30pm ET

Having phone service is essential for many aspects of modern life – from being able to call 911, to being reachable for additional work shifts, to staying connected to family and the larger community. The federal Lifeline program provides discounted phone service for eligible low-income households. There are a range of Lifeline phone service providers and products -- from wireline to wireless, and from the "free" prepaid wireless cell phones to the more traditional discounted basic phone service with a monthly bill. Lifeline has undergone dramatic changes in the past few years. How consumers enroll and stay on the program has changed with the new program rules. There are also policy debates going on right now that will shape the evolution of Lifeline in national efforts to close the broadband divide. Olivia Wein of the National Consumer Law Center will provide an update on these changes and the implications and outcomes for low-income customers.

The Foreclosure Crisis and the National Mortgage Settlement:
Impacts on New York State


Presenter: Dina Levy, New York State Office of the Attorney General
Tuesday, Wednesday, July 16, 2014
1:30pm-2:30pm ET

The New York Attorney General (NY AG) has been a leader in holding banks accountable for their role in the national foreclosure crisis. Beginning with the National Mortgage Settlement, an historic Agreement between the federal government and 49 States in 2012, the NY AG’s leadership in this area has brought substantial relief to struggling New Yorkers trying to recover from the housing and economic crises. Settlements have included direct relief to homeowners in the form of mortgage modifications in addition to cash settlements to states, which the NY AG has used to launch a series of programs which address the foreclosure crisis in a comprehensive way. Settlements have also included a series of mandates aimed at reforming the way banks treat customers who are seeking mortgage modification assistance. The NY AG has played a leadership role in holding banks accountable in terms of implementing those reforms. Dina Levy of the New York State Office of the Attorney General will cover each of these topics, including a discussion about how the foreclosure crisis is currently playing out in New York State and where the NY AG will direct his focus in the coming months.

Energy information engagement among the poor in North Carolina

Presenter: Dr. Brian Southwell, RTI International and Duke University
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
1:30pm-2:30pm ET

Social scientists are beginning to understand a number of ways in which low-income populations face resource challenges that affect not just their material standing but also the ways they engage information. Those challenges, in turn, also constrain the success of programs charged with helping low-income consumers conserve energy through changes in home maintenance and household energy behavior. Southwell and colleagues at RTI International and Duke University have explored both the national relationship between socioeconomic status, energy knowledge, and energy behavior in the U.S. as well as local patterns among Durham, N.C., residents. After first briefly reviewing national survey results, Southwell will outline pilot results from a small set of in-depth interviews with applicants to the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program in Durham County. Working with a North Carolina non-profit called Clean Energy Durham, Southwell’s team recently sat down with Durham residents to inquire about their information needs, preferences, and tendencies. The interviews explored the time-orientation of residents, e.g., tendency toward immediate goals versus long-term goals, perceived social network norms regarding community energy education, and a variety of other factors that pose both opportunities and challenges for future energy education outreach efforts. Southwell will discuss the on-going research effort and explore possibilities for collaboration in this arena.

Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing

Presenter: Michael Carliner, Research Fellow, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Michael Carliner, research fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, will present on the recent research brief, “Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing: The Need and the Potential.” This research brief describes the direct and indirect energy cost burdens that renters face and the disproportionate share of both total housing outlays and household income that lower-income tenants pay for energy. The analysis also looks at differences in energy costs and use between renters and homeowners living in various types of housing, as well as geographic variations in energy costs. The paper then examines the “split-incentive” problem in the landlord-tenant relationship and outlines strategies to overcome this barrier to efficiency and affordability. The report can be obtained online at http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/carliner_research_brief_0.pdf.


How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages
Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability

Presenter: Susan Antos, Senior Staff Attorney, Empire Justice Center

Thursday, February 27, 2014
1:30pm-2:30pm ET


Representatives from the Empire Justice Center will present on their recent report, “Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability.” The report provides a comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. The report also chronicles the legal background of the practice, the interplay between this policy and the push for foreclosure prevention, the need for detailed recordkeeping, and makes recommendations to ensure that debt is recovered against these mortgages only in the appropriate situations and for the correct amount. The report includes an advocates’ toolkit to help in providing assistance to individuals who have a welfare lien. The report is available online at http://www.empirejustice.org/publications/reports/new/dont-lien-on-me-how-new.html.



The Social Enterprise Movement

Presenters: 
Bruce Newman, Social Enterprise Alliance - Long Island Chapter
Ken Cerini, Social Enterprise Alliance - Long Island Chapter


Tuesday, January 21, 2014
10:30 am-11:30 am ET


Representatives from the Social Enterprise Alliance-Long Island Chapter presented information about the Social Enterprise movement and how it is changing both the not-for-profit and for-profit landscape. Growing in popularity across the U.S., social entrepreneurism is a hybrid economic model that unites for-profit and nonprofit organizations to create mutual self-sustaining value and measurable social impact. Using for-profit business methods and the power of the nonprofit mission, Social Enterprises seek to be financially self-sufficient with little or no dependency on donations and/or government funding. Numerous examples exist of organizations that practice social entrepreneurism to pursue their social mission. This webinar showcased some of these examples and set the stage for other organizations to explore the potential for adding social entrepreneurship to their operations.
 


NYSERDA's Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program


Presenter: Laura Geel, Residential Energy Services, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
1:30 pm-2:30 pm ET


NYSERDA's Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program offers incentives and low interest financing to help make energy efficiency improvements affordable for income-eligible New York State homeowners. This webinar will bring participants up to date with the Assisted Home Performance program, including how the program works, eligibility requirements, and the application process.



Climate Change and Older Americans


Presenter: Dr. Janet Gamble, Global Change Research Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
10:30am-11:30am

Older adults make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are projected to account for 20 percent by 2040. Coinciding with this demographic shift, the rate of climate change is accelerating, bringing rising temperatures; increased risk of floods, droughts, and wildfires; stronger tropical storms and hurricanes; rising sea levels; and other climate-related hazards. Older Americans are expected to be located in places that may be relatively more affected by climate change, including coastal zones and large metropolitan areas. This presentation reviews the research on climate change and older Americans, summarizing key findings related to demographics; climate stressors relevant to older adults; factors contributing to exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity; and adaptation strategies.



HEAP Updates for the 2013-201 Heating Season

Presenter: Andrew Bryk, Center for Employment and Economic Supports, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
 
Thursday, October 24, 2013
1:30pm-2:30pm ET
 
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost. The program also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat‐related emergency. This webinar provides updates on HEAP for 2013-2014 heating season.

For further information about the NYS Home Energy Assistance Program, consult the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance HEAP webpages at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/.



Passive House Design in Affordable Housing


Presenter: Gerald Abt , Energy Efficiency Engineer, Association for Energy Affordability
 
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
10:30am-11:30am ET
 
Passive house designs have the potential for reducing energy consumption in homes by up to 85 percent. Recently, the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) began offering courses designed to teach experienced contractors the principles, methods, and materials used to construct buildings that meet the exacting building performance criteria of Germany's Passivhaus Institut. This webinar presentation provides an overview of passive building techniques and discusses considerations for incorporating passive house into affordable new construction, weatherization, and low-income energy efficiency projects.



Home Energy Insecurity (HEI): Measurement and Consequences


Presenter: Dr. John Cook, Senior Research Scientist and Principal Investigator, Children’s HealthWatch, Boston Medical Center

Wednesday, August 21, 2013  

10:30 am - 11:30 am ET

This presentation by Dr. John Cook of Children’s HealthWatch discusses household energy insecurity (HEI) in terms of how it is measured and in terms of its consequences for children and families, and our future prosperity. The presentation communicates a straightforward, understandable way of quantifying HEI. Research evidence that indicates the impacts of HEI on child and family health are summarized, and health impacts of HEI are discussed in the context of what is needed to insure a prosperous future for us all.

 


LIFE March Webinar - 2013 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Presenter: Maryann Tucker, Director of Outreach and Constituent Services, NYS Department of Taxation and Finance

Thursday, March 7, 2013 
1:30am-2:30pm EST

This presentation provides some insight into the behind the scenes returns processing of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). New York's EITC, one of the most generous in the nation, is an economic boost to more than 1.6 million working New Yorkers each year. Of the $940 million paid out annually, 96 percent goes to working families with children. Through partnerships with advocacy groups and the Internal Revenue Service, the Taxation and Finance Department strives to ensure that all eligible taxpayers receive the tax credits they deserve. At the same time, New York State has a fiscal responsibility to ensure that refunds are not issued to those that are not entitled or to those that are filing fraudulent returns. This presentation will discuss:

  • Statistics on New York State’s EITC
  • New York State’s nationally recognized audit selection system
  • The scope of EITC fraud related issues and the rise in tax return-related identity theft
  • How advocacy groups have helped to reshape our thinking and tax return review procedures

View the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) webinar.

 


LIFE February Webinar - LIHEAP Action Day

Presenter - Kathy Walgren, 
Interim Executive Director, National Fuel Funds Network

Thursday February 21, 2013  
10:30 - 11:30 EST

LIHEAP Action Day is an event dedicated to preserving funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a vital safety net program for low-income energy customers.  Sponsored by the National Fuel Funds Network, LIHEAP Action Day brings together low-income energy advocates from a broad range of organizations and communities for a day of grassroots lobbying  and education.   LIHEAP Action Day events occur in Washington, DC where more than 100 briefings are held with federal legislators and at other press events and briefings in communities across America.  

LIFE’s LIHEAP Action Day Webinar will explore ways that low-income energy advocates can support and participate in Action Day in Washington as well as in their own communities. These are challenging times for energy assistance with funding cuts to LIHEAP a reality this year as the need for assistance grows.

View the LIHEAP Action Day Webinar

 


U.S. Department of Treasury’s Go Direct Campaign

Presenter: Lindsay Cole, Go Direct Campaign Representative

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 
10:30am-11:30pm EST

Everyone who receives federal benefit payments by paper check is required by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013. The Treasury Department reports that New York seniors and other federal benefit recipients are still receiving nearly 343,000 paper checks each month and have yet to switch to electronic payments. Help senior citizens, veterans, people with disabilities and others switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card before the official deadline. This webinar will outline the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Banks public education campaign called Go Direct and the two Treasury-recommended options for getting electronic payments. Additionally, as trusted resources in the New York community, this webinar will highlight ways for you to educate and communicate this information to the people you serve.

View the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Go Direct Campaign.

 


Helping Communities Survive and Recover from Natural Disaster

Presenters: Sue Montgomery Corey, Community Power Network and Supervisor of the town of Minerva; Bill Ferebee, Supervisor of the Town of Keene; Randy Douglas, Supervisor of the Town of Jany and the Chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors; and Don Jaquish, Emergency Services Director for Essex County 

Tuesday, December 22
10:00am-11:00pm EST

The webinar will feature three key leaders of the Hurricane Irene recovery efforts who will share their experiences of the similarities between the current recovery and rebuilding efforts resulting from Hurricane Sandy on Long Island and in New York City and last year's upstate floods following Hurricane Irene. Information provided will be relevant to all those presently affected by recovery challenges downstate in addition to those who are concerned with preventative measures or recovery strategies for future disasters.

View the Helping Communities Survive and Recover from Natural Disaster webinar.

 


2012-2013 HEAP Updates

Presenters: Heidi Torraco, Center for Employment and Economic Supports 

Thursday, October 25
10:30am-11:30pm EST

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost. The program also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat‐related emergency. Additionally, HEAP offers a heating equipment repair and/or replacement benefit for households with inoperable heating equipment. The heating season is scheduled to begin in November, so the 2012-2013 heating season is right around the corner. The LIFE program invites you to join this webinar to find out more about HEAP updates for the upcoming heating season and become part of the low-income energy dialogue.

View the 2012-2013 HEAP Updates webinar.

 

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