New Website Examines Impacts of Rising Energy Costs on Low Income Families
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) recently launched a webpage – “State Energy Costs for Families” –that highlights some of the challenges that millions of economically vulnerable Americans face as a result of rising energy costs. The project compiles data for 31 states from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
It’s important to note that energy prices affect families differently and are highly regressive in nature. More specifically, those with low and fixed incomes typically spend greater percentages of their take home pay on energy than those with higher incomes. Policymakers should be cognizant of this fact when evaluation any proposed energy or environmental policy matter. Several studies and analyses have shown, for instance, that EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will have devastating economic consequences, including rising electricity rates and natural gas prices.
In the commonwealth of Virginia, where ALEC is headquartered, 40 percent of households have incomes below $50,000. On average, these families spend an estimated 17 percent of their after tax incomes on residential and transportation energy. Additionally, over the past 10 years, residential electricity prices in Virginia have increased by 11 and 35 percent in real and current dollars, respectively.
State-by-state analyses are linked below: