DOE Study Finds that
Low-Income Families Continue to Pay Disproportionate Energy
In a five-year review of household
energy costs, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed
that those who can least afford it feel a disproportionate
impact of energy costs. The 2003 DOE study shows that the
average American household spent $2,985 on energy-related
costs. These expenditures were divided almost equally between
motor vehicle (transportation) and residential energy costs.
fortunate to earn over $50,000 per year spent a relatively
small percentage of their household income on energy-related
costs. These families saw their energy cost burdens decrease
slightly from a similar 1997 DOE survey, spending only about
3.7% of their income on energy expenditures.
But those American
households earning less than $50,000 per year fare much
Working families with
annual household incomes between $10,000 and $25,000 per year
(about 20% of American households) used about 13 percent of
their income to cover energy costs. Further, the energy
outlay burden is greatest on the poorest households. About
nine percent of American households earn less than $10,000
per year, and these families spend about 30% of their total
household budget to cover energy costs.
ABEC President Steve
Miller said that the DOE survey continues to prove the
importance of low-cost energy to millions of Americans.
?Not only does access
to affordable power help create and maintain jobs for
American workers, but it also helps reduce the burden on
working families already struggling to make ends meet,? said
The next time you board an airplane, you may hear the flight attendant say something like coffee, tea or electricity from coal. During the month of June, travelers on United Airlines flights could watch a short subject video produced by ABEC that discusses coals role in providing reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean electricity for American homes, schools, and businesses. The segment, filmed at the Power System Design Facility located in Wilsonville, Alabama, airs a part of a MSNBC news feature hosted by Matt Lauer.