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Utility Cost and Race

UTILITY COST AND RACE: The lower a family’s income, the more that family will pay for lighting and heating the house, running appliances, and keeping the wi-fi on. Such outcomes would suggest that this is a class problem or a function of rational markets. But according to a new study, all low-income households are not equally yoked: Residents of poorer, predominately white neighborhoods are less energy-cost burdened than people in predominately minority neighborhoods of similar economic status. Residents of minority neighborhoods who make less than 50 percent of area median income (AMI) are 27 percent more energy-cost burdened than residents from the same wage bracket who live in white neighborhoods.

Greg Brooks

Greg Brooks

Greg Brooks is the founder and president of the Better Cities Project. With more than 30 years of business and communications experience, he previously led public affairs for the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, public relations for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, and national outreach efforts for several other groups.

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