New Study on Energy Burden Finds Disproportionate Impacts on Low-Income and Minority Households

Energy Efficiency for All and ACEEE released a new study this week entitled “Lifting the Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities." The study reviews the “energy burden” of 48 major U.S. metropolitan areas (using U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 and 2013 American Housing Survey), looking at low-income, renter, multifamily, African American and Latino households. The big study finding is that low-income households devote three times as much income to energy costs as average households in the same city, with African American and Latino households similarly paying significantly more than white households, and that energy efficiency investments are critical to closing the gap.  The study also revealed that if the low-income housing stock were brought up to the energy efficiency level of the average U.S. home, this would eliminate 35 percent of the average low-income energy burden of low-income households (and even more in African American, Latino and multifamily households).