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Home energy bills hit lowest percentage in 10 years

Consumers in the United States spent 2.7 percent of their household income on home energy bills last year, which is the lowest percentage in 10 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysis released on April 18. Warmer weather contributed to lower energy consumption in 2012, and because household energy expenditures reflect both prices and consumption, these changes resulted in lower household energy expenditures.

On average, households spent $1,945 on heating, cooling, appliances, electronics, and lighting in 2012. This total includes home use of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, wood, and coal but excludes fuels used for transportation. It also excludes other household utilities such as water and telephone services. The 2.7 percent figure is the lowest since 2002. The percentage of household income spent on home energy bills peaked at 4.3 percent in 1982 and steadily declined until it reached its lowest level since 1973—2.4 percent in 1999.