Research

Household Energy Insecurity Survey

Authors: Sanya Carley, David Konisky, Trevor Memmott

The Household Energy Insecurity Survey provides insight into low-income American households' ability to pay their monthly energy bills, the receipt of shutoff notices, and the occurrence of utility disconnections. The survey also documents other energy-related material hardships including ways in which people cope with the costs and uncertainty of reliable energy service. Energy Justice Lab administered the survey in partnership with YouGov in January 2022 and the survey covers the winter months of November 2021 to January 2022. 

Key findings

  • Household energy insecurity is prevalent among low-income households in the United States.
  • Black and Hispanic households experience higher levels of energy insecurity.
  • Energy insecurity is widespread among households with vulnerable populations, especially families with children.
  • Households often forgo other basic household needs to pay their energy bills.
  • To cope with the expense of energy, households often adjust the temperature in their homes to uncomfortable levels and accumulate utility debt.

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