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AARP Issue Brief

Energy Affordability

With respect to Congressional consideration of legislation to address climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, whatever approach Congress adopts, the costs of addressing climate change will not only increase the price consumers must pay for energy, but will indirectly increase the costs for housing, food and all other products and services also.

AARP brings a unique perspective from 25 years of utility advocacy to assess the impact of various climate change proposals on energy affordability for consumers. Due to the fact that the regulatory structure varies widely from state to state, federal legislation is likely to have unequal impacts on consumers. It is AARP's position that climate change legislation must include carefully designed policies to mitigate increased energy costs to households, especially those with low and fixed incomes. We look forward to working with Congress to advance energy independence and conservation while protecting the consumer from unreasonable utility rate increases.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

If Congress fails to adequately fund programs that help struggling families with their utility bills, both during the coldest moths of winter and in the scorching heat of summer, millions will be forced to choose between paying for food and medicine and making their homes livable. And, if climate-change legislation fails to include consumer protections, millions of families could be unable to afford to pay their utility bills.

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