Study: Low-income renters pay more in energy expenses

According to a new study, low-income families that choose housing units for their affordability end up paying an unnecessary amount on their monthly energy bills. The main reason that these families pick where they like to live is how easy they can afford the space, though the University of Arizona has discovered that these people are spending hundreds of extra dollars every year because their buildings lack energy-efficient features.

The new information was published in the September 2014 issue of the journal Building Research and Information. It found that, as recently as 2009, multifamily apartment units that were occupied by low-income residents had an average of 4.7 percent fewer energy-efficient features than other households. What the researchers looked for were different items, such as double-paned windows and Energy Star appliances.

If the energy efficiency features were upgraded to be comparable with other homes, these low-income families could save between $200 and $400 each year on their utility expenses. According to the study, this energy inefficiency is one of the major reasons that power spending per square foot in apartment complexes is 76 percent higher than single-family homes. This unfairly affects those who already struggle to meet their basic needs.

"It's hard enough for low income families to afford basic food, childcare, and transportation expenses, so it's important to know that money they might otherwise have for those needs is being wasted by inefficient heating and cooling systems and appliances," Gary Pivo, who led the research, wrote in the study.

If own your home and are looking for ways to make it a more energy-efficient space, schedule an appointment today with R&J Tinting! Our Northern Virginia window tinting services will help save you money, as well as improve the look of your home.