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Low-Income Energy Issues

Home energy bills impose significant energy burdens on low-income households. It is not uncommon for home heating bills to impose burdens of 20% or more on low-income consumers. Electric bills generally impose an additional burden of 10% to 15% on low-income consumers.

These high energy burdens create a real need on the part of low-income consumers. Sometimes this need is seen in non-payment of bills or the disconnection of service. At other times, this need is seen in people who pay their utility bills rather than buying food or medicine.

Unaffordable home energy bills also adversely affect a community. Unaffordable home energy bills have been shown to result in homelessness and housing abandonment. Health and safety problems have been identified. A link has been established between unaffordable home energy and the lack of educational attainment for children.

FSC considers the problems of low-income energy issues from four perspectives: that of the consumers themselves, the agencies that assist them, the companies that serve them, and the communities in which they live.


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Models of Low-Income Utility Rates

The Road Oft Taken: Unaffordable Home Energy Bills, Forced Mobility And Childhood Education in Missouri

On the Brink of Disaster: A State-by-State Analysis of Low-Income Natural Gas Winter Heating Bills
The Other Part of the Year: Low-Income Households and Their Need for Cooling: A State-by-State Analysis of Low-Income Summer Electric Bills
Funding Fuel Assistance: State and Local Strategies to Help Pay Low-Income Home Energy Bills
Payment Problems, Income Status, Weather and Prices: Costs and Savings of a Capped Bill Program
Measuring LIHEAP's Results: Responding to Home Energy Unaffordability
Winter Weather Payments: the Impact of Iowa's Winter Utility shutoff Moratorium on Utility Bill Payments by Low-Income Customers
Measuring the Outcomes of Low-Income Energy Assistance programs Through a Home Energy Insecurity Scale
Energy Efficiency as an Affordable Housing Tool in Colorado
The Economic Impacts of Home Energy Assistance in Colorado
In Harm's Way: Home Heating, Fire Hazards and Low-Income Households
When Weather Kills: Heat Response Plans and the Low-Income Need for Cooling
A Fragile Income: Deferred Payment Plans and the Ability to Pay of Working Poor Utility Customers

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