Who Pays High Bills? Who Pays Low?

There are some urban myths in our industry, about who pays high electric and gas service bills. And who pays low bills. Let's shatter some myths.

Courtesy of the Energy Department's latest residential energy consumption survey. The data was just released. Though the survey was conducted in 2015. It is, nonetheless, an extraordinarily extensive examination of Americans' energy use and expenses.

ABB Market Intelligence Workshop September 13, New York

Our analysis breaks out each region. This way, we largely take out differences like regional climates, economies and housing patterns.

Ok. Take out your number two pencils. Time for a couple of questions.

Who pays high home energy bills and who pays low bills? Urban households? Rural households? Take a guess.

Time's up. Rural households pay far more than urban households. Rural households paid $2,626 in the Northeast, $2,189 in the Midwest, $2,155 in the South and $1,898 in the West. This was hundreds of dollars more than urban households in their regions.

Question two. Who pays high home energy bills and who pays low bills? Low-income households? High-income households? Take a guess.

Time's up. High-income households pay far more than low-income households. High-income households paid $3,140 in the Northeast, $2,418 in the Midwest, $2,925 in the South and $2,144 in the West. This was many hundreds of dollars more than low-income households in their regions, nearly twice as much.

Indeed, the most important factor explaining how high or low home energy bills are, is the size of the home. Single-family detached houses versus high-rise apartments. Square footage exceeding three thousand versus under a thousand square feet. To a great extent, within any region, this is what tells you who pays high and low bills.

ABB Market Intelligence Workshop September 13, New York

 

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Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and President, Lines Up, Inc.

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com