One in five U.S. households went without food, medicine or other necessities to pay their electricity or gas bills.
The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday nearly a third of households had trouble paying their energy bills. The group says the problem is mainly impacting racial minorities and low-income households with children.
At the same time that people were reporting these problems, overall energy-related spending was at its lowest point in more than a decade.
Tracey Capers of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation says it’s not surprising because communities of color face the highest burdens. Her organization works in low-income communities to weatherize homes and help reduce electricity bills. Half of the people reporting problems paying electric bills identified as Black or African American and more than 30 percent were Latino.