February 14, 2023 — Issue Brief

More than a quarter of households struggle to meet their energy needs. These households frequently face the risk of having their utility service terminated. Low-income families, in particular, spend a substantial portion of their income on electricity and heating. The average low-income household spends around 14% of their annual income on energy bills, compared to 3% for higher income households. Because of high energy costs, low-income families often sacrifice spending on other important needs, including groceries, childcare, and medicine, or reduce their energy usage in ways that decrease home comfort and harm their health.