Black Families Pay More For Winter Energy, But There Is Help Available

a snowy street with a traffic light
Alyssa Guznik
November 30, 2023

This year, meteorologists are calling for an El Niño winter forecast. While this typically means the country's northern half is warmer than average while the southern half is cooler, it's still winter, and high energy prices will impact wallets.

The short-term energy report was recently released and forecasts that energy costs will remain mostly unchanged. However, the financial toll is still high, given that energy prices rose by 10.7% last year alone. Making matters worse, Black American households pay 43% more on energy costs than the national average.

With many Black households bringing in significantly less than average income, help will be needed to keep homes warm this winter. There are options, however. Many states and local municipalities offer financial assistance for energy usage in the winter.

The Low Income Home Energy Program (LIHEAP) oversees funding in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and tribal nations to provide energy assistance. LIHEAP offers many resources,  everything from ensuring utilities don't get shut off, helping pay energy bills, and fixing or replacing broken heating units.

While energy supplies are still near record highs and winter is rapidly approaching, that doesn't mean Black households will be left out in the cold. By being aware of forecasts and utilizing available energy programs, it can help many families stay warm this winter.