Report: Natural Gas a Solution to Energy Poverty in the United States
Wed, October 28, 2020
Whitepaper explores scope of U.S. energy poverty in the United States and how natural gas use can reduce costs to all Americans, especially for low-income households and people of color.
A new whitepaper by Texans for Natural Gas shines a light on the millions of Americans affected by energy poverty – the lack of access to affordable energy – - in the world’s richest nation, and how affordable and abundant natural gas can help alleviate their hardship.
The whitepaper, Pathway for Progress: Natural Gas and Addressing Energy Poverty, explains how natural gas is a solution to the rising “heat or eat” dilemma that many U.S. households face every day. With record U.S. natural gas production, the affordable fuel reduces the amount of money that Americans need to devote from their paycheck to keeping the lights on and the house warm. Low income, rural and communities of color, which all often pay more in monthly utilities, stand to greatly benefit from low-cost, abundant natural gas. Simply put, natural gas can save hundreds of thousands of Americans from falling into poverty due to increasing energy prices.
- NATURAL GAS IS AN AFFORDABLE RESOURCE: Record natural gas production is supplying affordable energy to households at low rates, passing the savings onto rate payers. Denying residents access to natural gas and natural gas-generated electricity means denying them potential savings and compounding their struggle to pay for food and medicine, while also keeping the lights on.
- ENERGY POVERTY IS BOTH REGIONAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC: Energy poverty is a problem across the United States, disproportionately impacting lower-income communities, rural homes and communities of color. These households can pay up to nearly three times more for energy than the national average. In certain areas in Texas, low-income households pay up to 28 percent of their monthly income to cover their energy needs.
- HIGH ENERGY COSTS DISPROPORTIONATLY AFFECT BIPOCs: Minorities and people of color are greatly affected by high energy prices, with many Latino and Black rate payers reporting serious sacrifices to pay for their monthly bills. Black homeowners, for example, pay an average of $408 more on energy per year than their white counterparts.
- EXACERBATING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19: Many of the same communities facing disproportionately high energy costs have also been hit hardest by COVID-19, making them least capable of absorbing higher energy bills caused by working from home.
- NATURAL GAS IS ENRICHING LIVES: The Shale Revolution has halved natural gas prices in the United States, saving hundreds of thousands of Americans from energy cost induced poverty. In fact, shale-driven improvements in energy productivity reduced the domestic price of natural gas by 63 percent and has saved U.S. families an average of $2,500 annually.
The whitepaper can be found HERE.