Southeastern residents currently face historically high poverty rates, and low-income households spend an average of three times as much on energy bills, as a portion of their monthly income, than other families. Energy efficiency investments could help lower energy bills, but low-income residents in the region often lack access to energy-saving upgrades.
In two recent surveys of large electric utilities, ACEEE found that most utilities in the Southeast spend less on targeted low-income efficiency programs per residential customer and see fewer savings than those in other parts of the country. This lack of investments means that Important economic development and poverty reduction strategies are underutilized. But it’s not too late. States can help their low-income residents get a leg up by emphasizing smart programs and policies crafted for them. Our new series of Southeastern state fact sheets shows how.
Steps for serving low-income households in the Southeast
Our new fact sheets use ACEEE and Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance data to offer a quick overview of current utility low-income energy efficiency efforts. We also provide strategies that states can use to scale up resources for this population. Our research shows that utilities, regulators, and policymakers in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia have many options to reduce the energy burden of low-income households.
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