Thursday, September 15, 2016

Commentary: Help with Energy Bills Becoming Available for Low-Income Pennsylvanians

By: Patrick Cicero

Published: September 8, 2016

NATIONWIDE, low-income households spend an average of three times as much of their income on energy as higher income households, in large part because of energy-inefficient housing.

Low-income households here in Pennsylvania are among the hardest hit in the entire country, according to a recent study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Energy Efficiency for All, a coalition of affordable housing, environmental and low-income advocates. State energy efficiency programs can help reduce the disproportionate energy burden borne by low-income households and should be continually improved upon to provide needed relief for Pennsylvania families.

Of 48 U.S. cities surveyed, low-income families in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were in the top 10 of those shouldering the highest energy burdens, defined as the ratios of utility costs to household incomes. In Pittsburgh, one-quarter of low-income families living in multifamily housing pay 16 percent or more of their income on utilities, while, in Philadelphia, these families spend 9 percent or more of their income on utilities – more than two times the energy burden of the city’s average household.

Go to to view the full article.