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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While overall energy use declined when coronavirus-induced lockdowns took effect, residential power costs rose for many people, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: It shows how staying at home means moving energy costs from offices to homes, "a shift that, with the accompanying expense, could make things worse for those already suffering financially as a consequence of the pandemic."

How it works: A Columbia University project, which has been monitoring hundreds of New York City apartments since 2018, found an average 23% rise in electricity use during business hours after stay-at-home orders took effect in March, per WSJ.

  • "The apartments, they said, roughly match the diversity of the city’s residential building stock, and the researchers anticipated that other areas of the country observing stay-at-home orders would have experienced similar changes in energy use."

Go deeper: Low-income households are struggling to pay energy bills during pandemic

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 30, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 mins ago - Technology

AI is industrializing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Artificial intelligence is becoming a true industry, with all the pluses and minuses that entails, according to a sweeping new report.

Why it matters: AI is now in nearly every area of business, with the pandemic pushing even more investment in drug design and medicine. But as the technology matures, challenges around ethics and diversity grow.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

National Guard chief: Pentagon's "unusual" Jan. 6 restrictions led to 3-hour delay

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified Wednesday that a three-hour delay in approval for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was exacerbated by "unusual" restrictions on his authorities by Pentagon leadership.

Why it matters: Walker testified that if Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had not prohibited him in a Jan. 5 memo from using the National Guard's "Quick Reaction Force" without authorization, he would have "immediately" sent troops to the Capitol after receiving a "frantic call" from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.