Low-Income Households Pay A Lot For Energy. Efficiency Can Help Cut Costs.
This year, Americans experienced the fourth hottest summer on record, preceded by a winter of record-breaking lows. As the winter season approaches, extreme temperature patterns serve as a reminder that home energy use isn’t just a matter of comfort, but also one of health and wellness. Yet, a recent posting from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that a significant portion of American struggle to pay for energy.
According to EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey, 31 percent of U.S. households face challenges when paying energy bills or adequately heating or cooling their homes. One in five households forgo necessities like food and medicine in order to pay energy bills, forcing difficult tradeo-ffs that impact well-being. These energy insecure households are also more likely to earn less than $20,000 annually and be African-American or Latino. Whereas the median U.S. energy burden is 3.5 percent of a household’s income, low-income households experience a median energy burden of 7.2 percent.
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