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Virtue is its own punishment

Portland's got some Recovery Act money to throw around on residential energy efficiency, so I applied for a piece of it the other day.

If my application is accepted, I get a low-interest loan to replace windows, add insulation, and maybe upgrade my heating system. The repayment terms are long and painless, and it's an excellent deal.

Now, my sister and her four kids live across the street in an old house that's a bit bigger than mine, but by no means large. She applied for the program the day it was announced, and was declined. The basis? In effect, "Five people living in X-square feet is already way more efficient than the average American home and we need to pluck lower-hanging fruit than you."

Oookay. So, if my sis and her family undercut the American standard of X-square feet of living space per person by some predefined percentage, they're not entitled to help with keeping their small house warmer in the winter? Their willingness to live smaller to begin with (or, more to the point, their financial inability to live larger) makes them ineligible for assistance in saving energy?

Richer, more wasteful people get the loan my sister and her kids need?

That's absurd.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.

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