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Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills. In this report, ACEEE, along with the Energy Efficiency for All coalition, measures the energy burden of households in 48 of the largest American cities. The report finds that low-income, African-American, Latino, low-income multifamily, and renter households all spend a greater proportion of their income on utilities than the average family. The report also identifies energy efficiency as an underutilized strategy that can help reduce high energy burdens by as much as 30%. Given this potential, the report goes on to describe policies and programs to ramp up energy efficiency investments in low-income and underserved communities.
This report was developed to help inform national stakeholders about the strategies that have been used to achieve deep energy savings in the multifamily housing sector through energy efficiency upgrades. These strategies could be used as models in areas where utility program administrators and policymakers seek to achieve deep energy savings in the multifamily building stock for the purposes of reducing energy costs, creating comfortable and healthy homes, meeting regulatory requirements, or reducing the environmental impacts of energy consumption. This report includes a national multifamily market characterization, barriers and opportunities for program and policy efforts, and eight exemplary case studies from across the country.