With the holiday season and students’ winter break right around the corner, Americans from all walks of life are scrimping and saving to ensure this year’s festivities are filled with wonder and merriment.
But for many families, any extra or available income won’t be spent on gifts and travel; rather, it’ll be put toward paying off household bills, putting food on the table, and purchasing much-needed medicine.
According to recent analysis of family energy expenditures, 40 percent of America’s families – 51 million households – live on an average after-tax income of $1,643 per month, or slightly less than $55 per day. These families spend an average of 17 percent of their income on energy. Furthermore, the poorest of these – some 25 million families – spend 22 cents of every dollar they take home on energy.
This drain on budgets is a surefire way to derail any sense of joy this time of year.
Despite the recent history of ever-increasing energy bills, there’s potential for this trend to reverse course. President-elect Donald Trump’s energy plan calls for an “energy revolution” that will “unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.”
Should this plan come to fruition, energy bills for all Americans will be more affordable, allowing income reserved for energy bills to be freed for other purposes. Only time will tell whether the next administration and Congress will hold true to their word. Until then, we remain optimistic for a future where all Americans can experience a very, merry holiday season without the worry of which bills to pay.