Climate change will challenge Hoosiers’ physical and material well-being. Beyond affecting Indiana’s environmental and economic stability, environmental change will also create burdens on vulnerable individuals through disruptions to labor markets, increases in energy costs, more extreme weather events, and excessive heat and cold exposure. Understanding the magnitude and distribution of these burdens, and the ability of households to adapt, is essential to fully prepare the state and its residents.
To help inform state and local policymakers, utility companies, philanthropic organizations, and citizens about Indiana’s readiness for this problem, a team led by IU Professors David Konisky and Sanya Carley is systematically studying the nature of energy insecurity in Indiana. Specifically, the team is investigating the capacity of citizens to adapt to the expected increase in excessive temperatures.
To study these issues, researchers are conducting an empirical analysis of the statistical relationships between utility shutoff policies and death from excessive heat and cold. Secondarily, the team is surveying Indiana households to measure the degree to which they face energy hardships and how they cope.