Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Energy Efficiency Can Create A Positive Impact For Low-Income Latinos

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For low-income Latinos in cities, energy efficiency can help stretched family budgets. A recent report, published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition, found that a lack of energy efficiency in America’s major cities poses an unbalanced economic burden on low-income urban communities.

In a review of 48 major U.S. metropolitan areas, the report found that the economic burden of energy costs on low-income households can be up to three times higher than the overall burden on higher-income households. This applies in particular to low-income African American and Latino households because they seem to spend a top-heavy amount of their income on energy. What the study found, though, is that the gap could be at least one third smaller by applying more energy efficiency methods.

In general, low-income households pay 7.2 percent of household’s income on utilities which is three times more than higher income households pay that only use about 2.3 percent. Latino households in the south and southwest United States experience the greatest energy burdens, which in large part is caused by out of date and inefficient low income housing.

The executive director of Latino advocacy group Voces Verdes, Adrianna Quintero, reacted to the report by saying, “Increasing the energy efficiency of Latino households to the median level could cut their excess energy burdens by as much as a whopping 68 percent, putting more money in their pockets for things like food and medical expenses.” Memphis, Providence, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Atlanta, Birmingham, Phoenix, Dallas, Fort Worth and Detroit resulted to be the cities where Latinos faced the greatest energy burdens.

The ACEEE found that if the energy efficiency levels in homes across the U.S. were increased, it would eliminate about 35 percent of the average low-income energy problem in these areas. And at 68 percent, the average energy burden that could be removed through the energy efficiency for low-income Latino households was a much greater portion than any other group.

Latin Post