In a report published September 10th, researchers at ACEEE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, found that “low-income households spend three times (8.1 percent) more of their income on energy costs compared to the median spending (2.3 percent) of non-low-income households.”
The team of researchers measured energy burdens from 2017 in communities from 25 metro areas, places such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York City. By comparing households regionally and nationally, this team discovered that 25 percent (about 30 million) American households experience high energy burdens, spending more than 6 percent of their income on home energy. Half of those households (so about 15 million) experience what they call "severe burdens" — where 10 percent of income is used on energy cost.
Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and elderly households experienced disproportionate higher energy burdens. The researchers recommended further research on race, ethnicity, age and other factors affect affect energy burdens.
As rising temperatures affect portions of the US, energy usage will increase. Already high energy burdens for low-income communities will too. Identifying communities, increasing funding for energy efficiency, and weatherization are just some of the policy changes that can be implemented for a more energy security.