Living in the country means higher energy bills

If you live in the country, chances are you are spending more on energy bills than your neighbors in nearby towns and cities.

It’s the finding of a study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Energy Efficiency for All Coalition.

The report indicated rural households spend about 40% more than their metropolitan counterparts. The problem is worst in the East and Southeast.

Rural households spend 4.4% on home energy bills for things like air conditioning, heating, lighting, appliances and cooking. That’s at least a third more than the national burden.

The report indicated those with low incomes have at least a 9% burden which is three times that of higher-income counterparts.

Some rural regions saw the burden as high as 15% for one of every four low-income households. Some factors could include a home’s physical condition which could be the cause for higher energy burdens.

The East South Central, New England and Mid-Atlantic regions have the highest median rural energy burdens at 5.1%.  But energy efficiency improvements and upgrades could lessen the burdens.

“By embracing energy-efficient construction and rehabilitation, and properly valuing it as part of mortgage underwriting, we could expand homeownership and reduce homeownership costs, enhance home appreciation and improve financial outcomes for rural families,” said Doug Ryan, senior director for affordable homeownership at Prosperity Now.