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Winter Heating Costs and Older and Low-Income Households - February 2011

Since the mid-1990s, home heating costs have increased as a result of an overall rise in energy costs. During this period energy cost increases have outpaced the ability of many low-income consumers to adequately heat their homes. This trend is expected to continue during Winter 2010-11, when the cost of natural gas, fuel oil and electricity in most regions are projected to increase.

 

Primary Heating Fuel Used by Consumers Age 65+

Source: Residential Energy Consumption Survey, 2005. Prepared by the AARP Public Policy Institute, February 2011.

 

Because more than half (54 percent) of older households in the United States use natural gas as their primary heating fuel, changes in the price of natural gas tend to have the biggest influence on the heating costs of older consumers.

 

Winter Heating Costs for Consumers Age 65+ by Heating Fuel Type

Sources: Residential Energy Consumption Survey, 2005; Short term Energy Outlook, February 2011 (Table WF01); Prepared by the AARP Public Policy Institute, February 2011.

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