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A Welfare Measure of a New Type of Energy Assistance Program

Abstract:
The sharp increase in utility rates since the 1970s has inflicted great hardship on low-income households. For many, paying their utility bills means sacrificing the purchase of other commodities essential to their economic well-being.' Another symptom of this problem is exhibited by the increased number of low-income people whose utility service has been cut off. Energy assistance programs have been instituted to cope with this serious problem. The major objectives of these programs are: (a) to make energy more affordable to the poor, thereby reducing the number of service disconnections, and (b) to limit how much the poor must pay for energy so that more funds are available for purchasing other essential commodities.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Access – Energy Poverty and Equity

JEL Codes:
Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

Keywords: Low income households, Energy poverty, IRAPP program, Illinois, Energy assistance

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol9-No3-6


Published in Volume 9, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.