In a recent blog, Guidehouse discusses the concerns around rising energy costs
Even before the economic impacts of the pandemic and increases in energy costs due to the war in Ukraine, more than 37 million US households were considered “cost burdened” – meaning that they spent more than 30% of their income on housing. Just a modest increase in energy costs can have a dramatic impact on the tenuous financial stability of low-income households already stretched thin.
In a recent blog on Guidehouse Insights, Gregory Heller, director at Guidehouse, explains the need for innovative policy solutions to address energy poverty and housing equity crises in the US. One such solution could be new programs to retrofit systems for energy efficiency, weatherize and properly insulate properties and reduce utility costs, provide underserved areas with access to energy efficient technology, and promote community solar solutions to broaden access to alternative energy. The federal government and states also need to incentivize and invest seriously in renewable energy—bringing down the cost.
“By investing in efficient, safe, healthy homes and alternative energy, and focusing on creating jobs in this fast-growing sector, we can help reduce household costs,” said Heller. “We can work to pull millions of families off the edge of the economic cliff, and build a more stable, affordable, and resilient economy for the future.”
Heller explains that there are clear socioeconomic and racial disparities in the effect the rising cost of energy and housing have on American families. Low-income households are disproportionally affected by housing and energy prices, and Black and Hispanic households are affected more heavily than white households.
“The financial implication is that these families are forced to make difficult choices about keeping the lights on or feeding their family,” added Heller.
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