June 4, 2023
About 400,000 Maryland households, and nearly 30 percent of Baltimore residents, pay more than six percent of their income on energy bills, according to a new report by researchers from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) and PSE Healthy Energy (PSE).
“Income inequality is the primary driver of energy cost burdens in Maryland. Low-income households generally pay significantly larger portions of their income on energy, creating impossible choices between paying for necessities, such as rent and food, and the fuel needed to heat homes,” said the report’s leading author, Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of IEER.
“In Baltimore City, there are roughly 7,000 evictions and 150,000 eviction notices a year—more than one for every low-income renter. Nationally, almost five percent of households who get heating bill assistance lose their homes each year due to such financial stresses. “
The researchers used publicly available data to estimate the percentage of income spent on home energy needs by household (known as energy cost burden) and outlined strategies to help increase energy affordability, while lowering health- and climate-damaging emissions.