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Report: Poor Conn. Residents Spend More Than 2/3 Of Their Income On Energy, Housing, Transportation

Claudio Schwarz
Creative Commons

Low-income households in Connecticut spend 68% of their annual income on energy, housing and transportation costs. That’s more than the average consumer statewide, according to a report released by the Connecticut Green Bank.

Emily Basham of the Green Bank said transportation costs are the second highest for households after housing costs.

"What stands out to me in this report is that no matter where you are, even in the most urban areas of Connecticut, you really still need a vehicle to have the most basic level of mobility," Basham said.

The report recommends a range of policy changes to reduce dependency on personal vehicles. They say improved public transportation would be more equitable and help advance the state’s climate goals.

Gannon Long from Operation Fuel said energy efficiency and solar power programs can help close the gap for low-income homeowners.

However, Long says many low-income renters are unable to benefit from program subsidies.

"I think it’s around 30% of low-income residents are not able to access those funds because they don’t have control over whether a solar panel goes over their roof or even whether some sort of insulation is put into their apartment," Long said.

The report recommends that energy efficiency and solar programs be extended to tenants.