According to AmericasPower.org, energy bills already consume, on average, a whopping one-fifth of low-income Americans’ income. Percentage-wise, lower-income and middle-income households spend more than twice the average of higher-income households on energy. And lower-income families in particular spend three times more proportionally on energy than households with higher incomes.
Consider California, home to billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer, who has financed major pushes for green energy mandates. According to the Institute for Energy Research, household electricity bills in California run about 40 percent higher than the national average and are the ninth-most expensive in the nation, thanks to a law requiring green energy to comprise 33 percent of the state’s electricity supply by 2020. Mr. Steyer testified in favor of a 2015 measure that would have raised the target to 50 percent by 2030.
A Manhattan Institute analysis indicates that 1 million California households now live in energy poverty. California currently has the nation’s highest poverty rate, which is now 50 percent higher than Mississippi.
We are following in the European footsteps.
Europe’s experience should serve as a warning. It has been subject to green energy mandates for years, and the economic impact hasn’t been pretty.
During the past eight years, electricity in Europe has become 42 percent more expensive, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Eight million French households are no longer able to pay their electricity bill, and some 350,000 German residences have had their power cut off, up 13 percent from 2011. German consumers’ electricity bills have doubled since 2000, when a renewable-energy levy was tacked onto every residential electricity bill to subsidize owners of turbines and solar panels. The World Health Organization estimates that 30 percent of European winter deaths may be attributable to living in insufficiently heated homes.