BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Survey shows many Americans find it difficult to pay for energy bills in 2023

Nov 14, 2023, 11:00 AM

Image of home thermostat. Many Americans find it difficult to pay for energy bills in 2023....

The thermostat at Darlene Wayment’s home in Ogden on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Wayment has noticed a sharp increase in her utility bill with no increased usage in the past couple months. (Jeffrey D/Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D/Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Temperatures are continuing to drop as we move closer to the winter and more than 1 in 3 Americans report they find it difficult to pay for energy bills.

According to a new report by HOP Energy, the increase in energy bills and utility costs in 2023 is making it harder for many Americans to warm up their house. The report, which surveyed 900 Americans, states the nationwide average electric bill stands at $201 monthly, with western states averaging $192 a month.

Jorgan Hofeling with Dominion Energy in Utah told KSL NewsRadio energy prices have been fairly high in the past few years.

“I think that there were quite a few factors that caused that, that makes for some unusually high bills,” Hofeling said. “Especially last year when we had that really long cold winter, and then the natural gas rates were pretty high.”

The report shows that 56% of Americans experience energy bills that are higher than expected during the summer. In the winter, 39% of Americans experience higher-than-expected energy bills.

During the winter months, the average national home thermostat temperature is 69°. In the west, the average is 67.4°.

According to HOP Energy, Americans are finding ways to cut their energy costs. From using energy-efficient light bulbs, unplugging items that are not in use, and keeping the home temperature closer to the outside temperature

Aid programs for Utahns

For Utah residents who find it difficult to pay for their energy bills, Hofeling said programs are willing to help.

“The HEAT program, which is the Home Energy Assistance Target. That’s a federal assistance program that helps low-income households and they help year-round,” Hofeling said. “There’s also the REACH program, which is funded by donations from not only Dominion Energy customers but employees and shareholders.”

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Survey shows many Americans find it difficult to pay for energy bills in 2023