The Strategist

Americans' utility debts reach $23B

06/01/2022 - 06:07

According to the Financial Times, the amount of unpaid utility bills in the United States has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching $23 billion as of February, according to figures from the National Association of Energy Assistance Program Administrators (NEADA).

According to the group, which assists low-income families in the United States with utility bills, approximately 20 million American homes have fallen behind on their payments. Their numbers grew during the epidemic, when authorities and watchdogs made it illegal to turn off lights, water, or heat if the customer had not paid. Shutdowns are prohibited in many states during the winter.

Meanwhile, Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with their mounting costs. Gas prices have jumped by 23% since last year, according to the Consumer Price Index for April. Electricity rates climbed by 11%, which is mainly due to the cost of gas fuel used by power plants.

Almost all existing deferrals and moratoriums had expired by the end of May. NEADA warned that 2 million households could lose power in the next months.