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Rural Counties in North Carolina Experience Significant Energy Burden

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Rural counties in Eastern North Carolina have the most significant energy burdens in the state, according to a revamped mapping tool offered by the North Carolina Housing Coalition.

The Housing Coalition partnered with North Carolina State University to update its housing affordability mapping tool to include the average energy costs of households as well as the energy burden by county. While average energy costs for all households in North Carolina counties do not exceed 8 percent, Hyde County has the most severe energy burden with extremely low-income renters paying 42 percent of their household budgets on energy costs.

The energy burden for low-income households has led the Housing Coalition to support Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA), a campaign dedicated to linking the energy and housing sectors together to tap into the benefits of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is projected to eliminate 35 percent of low-income households’ energy burden.

The NC Housing Finance Agency has worked with Advanced Energy Corporation since 2001 to encourage high energy efficiency standards in affordable housing through the SystemVisionTM Energy Guarantee Program. This program allows Advanced Energy to guarantee average heating and cooling costs at less than $35 per month for two years. This partnership led the Agency to receive an Energy Star Excellence Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for promoting energy efficiency standards that helped North Carolinians save more than $1.5 million in utility costs. Learn more about SystemVisionTM and discover other community financing options on the NCHFA Community Programs webpage.