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High-Income Households’ Electric Bills 20% or More Above Overall Average

I’ve lost count, of how many times I’ve heard people in our industry say that high-income households pay lower electric bills than low and middle-income households. Supposedly because high-income households can afford and have implemented energy efficiency in their homes.

It’s easy to show this isn’t true. Check out this analysis of the new semi-annual Consumer Expenditure Survey of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

9.8 million of the 23.4 million households in the Northeast have an annual income before taxes of $70,000 or more. Over the last two years, their monthly electric bills averaged $140.83. That’s 27 percent above the average for all of the households in the Northeast.

16.4 million of the 49.8 million households in the South have an annual income before taxes of $70,000 or more. Over the last two years, their monthly electric bills averaged $167.42. That’s 20.7 percent above the average for all of the households in the South.

10.6 million of the 27.9 million households in the Midwest have an annual income before taxes of $70,000 or more. Over the last two years, their monthly electric bills averaged $129.08. That’s 21 percent above the average for all of the households in the Midwest.

12.3 million of the 28.6 million households in the West have an annual income before taxes of $70,000 or more. Over the last two years, their monthly electric bills averaged $125.50. That’s 19.8 percent above the average for all of the households in the West.

Indeed, taking the Northeast as an example, the average electric bills of households with income of at least $70,000 was 31.3 percent greater than the average bills of households with income of $50,000 to $69,999. And well more than double the average bills of households with income of $10,000 to $14,999.
 

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Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and President, Lines Up, Inc.
E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com