A new study says rural residents in the Northeast spend more of their income on energy than almost anywhere else in the country.
The study from an energy efficiency advocacy group found that people living outside metropolitan areas in the Northeast and central Southeast had the nation's highest energy burdens.
It says most rural New Englanders spend a median of 5.1 percent – and sometimes more than 9 percent – of their income on energy. For urban residents, that figure is less than 4 percent.
New England also has the highest electric rates in the country, but the report says that's not necessarily driving the higher energy burdens.
It says higher housing prices and energy use create bigger problems for rural residents. And it says efficiency upgrades can ease those residents' energy burdens by hundreds of dollars a year.
The study also says New Englanders living in manufactured homes spent the biggest part of their income on energy.
This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.