🎵 Donate any amount today and download 5 different Marketplace ringtones 🎵 Give Now

Hybrid work adds strain to power grids during heat wave

Sep 6, 2022
The lights and the AC are on in offices and living rooms, challenging energy systems amid record temperatures.
California's electric grid operator has asked residents to save power by shutting off their air conditioning in the late afternoon and evening during the ongoing heat wave.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"We just can't function in the same way": Extreme heat and worker productivity

Aug 19, 2022
Extreme heat isn't just uncomfortable. It can hurt workers' health and make them prone to errors, one expert says.
The threshold where heat starts to really affect how well people can focus and work is roughly 90 degrees, says Amir Jina at the University of Chicago.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Biden administration launches Heat.gov as extreme heat becomes more common

Aug 1, 2022
The government also boosts funding for a FEMA program to help communities prepare for extreme heat and other climate-related disasters.
While the government is taking steps to address the impacts of extreme heat, climate experts worry that the problem could worsen.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Cities respond to rising heat ... with new hires

Jul 25, 2022
A few cities are hiring what's known as a "chief heat officer."
Tourists take selfies of themselves with popsicles during a heat wave in front of the Lincoln Memorial on July 22 in Washington, D.C.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Extreme heat is driving up demand for natural gas, along with prices

Jul 22, 2022
Nearly 40% of U.S. electricity is generated by natural gas, so when millions of air conditioners are turned on, prices rise.
With large swaths of the U.S. under excessive heat warnings this week, Americans are blasting their air conditioners, which can increase electricity bills.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Extreme heat is becoming more common. Should tenants have a right to air conditioning?

Jun 14, 2022
There are many more laws and programs to help low-income people stay warm in the winter than cool in the summer.
Above, temperatures reached 114º F in of El Centro, California on June 12. Much of the South and West have been grappling with a heat wave, underscoring how air conditioning is becoming increasingly necessary.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Workers face blistering temperatures again, with little federal protection

Jun 10, 2022
The Biden Administration ordered OSHA to draw up workplace heat standards. How soon will they be in place?
Farmworkers and other laborers could suffer in this weekend's heat wave.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

Support fact-based, independent journalism with a gift to Marketplace today.

States are increasingly using LIHEAP fund to buy air conditioners for low-income families as heat waves and high temperatures become more common.
James Andrews/Getty Images

More frequent, extreme heat waves linked to workplace injuries

Jul 26, 2021
New research from UCLA shows climate change-induced heat waves pose a growing threat to workers.
People wait to buy ice cream from a Washington, D.C., vender during a June heat wave. A recent study links heat waves to worker injuries, which were highest in low-wage industries that require physical labor.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

For small businesses, extreme heat can mean unexpected costs

Jul 9, 2021
Among them are higher electricity bills, air conditioning upgrades and running cooling misters for customers outdoors.
With unexpected weather can come unexpected costs, like AC upgrades, higher electrical bills, even irrigation systems to protect property in case of wildfires.
Dirk Waem/AFP via Getty Images