How much people want solar panels depends upon who is going to pay for the solar panels CC0,

The US Energy Department has just released a report detailing how some one third of US households struggle to pay their energy bills. This isn’t as much of a surprise as we might think given that energy policy these past couple of decades has been to make energy more expensive. Without the costs of renewables being thrown onto household bills how many would be so struggling?

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.

Well, yes, poorer people have more problems affording expensive things, this is how it goes.

At the same time, overall energy-related spending was at its lowest point in more than a decade due to lower fuel and natural gas prices, said the energy administration, a division of the federal Department of Energy.

Ah, no, that’s not quite true. For overall includes industrial uses and they’re not being burdened with those renewables costs in quite the same manner. It’s domestic consumers bearing the brunt.

About one in five households had to reduce or forego food, medicine and other necessities to pay an energy bill, according to the report. “Of the 25 million households that reported forgoing food and medicine to pay energy bills, 7 million faced that decision nearly every month,” the report stated.

However, snark about the costs of going green is all very enjoyable but not entirely the point. For what is really being said is that poor people have limited budgets.

You don’t say?

Being poor actually means having to make tight decisions about where money is spent. Absolutely everyone faces a budget constraint – despite rumours neither Jeff Bezos nor Bill Gates can afford to buy London let alone England – it’s just the poorer you are the tighter those constraints bind. Which is a useful definition of poverty, that one faces tighter budget constraints than others.

So, the news story here is really “Poor people have a hard time.” Well, yes, but isn’t this olds?

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Recall that there are no “studies” in government, only sales pitches; and this sales pitch is about the hoary old theme of “affordability.” Yes, to buy more of this, I have to give up some of that. So, with apologies to Obama-care, health care was never “unaffordable” but an expense that required personal priorities. We cannot achieve “affordability” by controlling medical costs but only by controlling everything. Yes, “green” energy costs more than ordinary energy, and needlessly; also, “green” household products cost more and don’t work as well. Having someone else’s priorities dictated to me means I get poorer value… Read more »


A laboured argument. If the cost of energy hadn’t been forced so artificially high, the poor wouldn’t be facing those difficult choices would they? In a couple of months the poor and elderly in Britain will again have to make the choice between keeping warm enough to stay alive, and eating enough to stay alive. Roll on free markets in energy and unreliables will shut down immediately.


Aye to free markets in energy, also to free choice about what type of energy to choose. But the rest of your post is the usual tug-at-the-heartstrings about Able-Minded Passive Victims being given a horrible choice between two methods of suicide. In fact, a few of the poor might both eat and heat their homes by giving up the nightly trip to the pub.