Energy insecurity is understood as the impacts stemming from the inability to pay one's energy bills. In the Southeast, more than 7 million low-income households — representing a quarter of all households in the region — pay in excess of 10 percent of their gross household income on energy bills. That energy burden far exceeds the generally accepted threshold of 6 percent. Families impacted by this prevalent issue are often forced to make choices between keeping the lights on or spending their money on other essential expenses such as food, housing, or healthcare.
The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in partnership with Appalachian Voices and the North Carolina Justice Center, has launched the Southeast Energy Insecurity Stakeholder Initiative to facilitate a broad, collaborative discussion to explore opportunities for reducing energy insecurity in the region.