Friday, March 28, 2014

The Cost of Staying Warm in the Winter

For those of us who live up north (well ok, just about anywhere in the U.S.) and experienced the prolonged winter (it is officially Spring), we know it cost more to stay warm this winter.  AARP released a February report on Winter Heating Costs. The report notes that

Although consumption data show that low-income older consumers tend to use less heating fuel than higher-income groups, high winter heating costs are likely to be a greater burden on this group than on higher-income older consumers who have greater financial resources available to meet these costs.

Thirty percent of older households have total family incomes of less than $20,000, and they typically experience the greatest energy burden. This trend is projected to continue throughout winter 2013–14.  The burden is highest for those using fuel oil for heating. For example, age 65+ households heating with fuel oil with incomes under $20,000 will spend almost one-fifth of household income on heating costs, while all-income households heating with fuel oil will spend around 5 percent of total household income on heating costs. (citations omitted).

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