Call now

62% of U.S. homeowners face higher electricity bills than a year ago

Written by Saltanat Berdikeeva

Edited by Hannah Hillson

Last updated 10/25/2022


MoMo Productions/DigitalVision/Getty images

Key points

  • 85% of homeowners saw price hikes in at least one household service or utility category in the past year.
  • 93% of U.S. homeowners worry about the impact of inflation on their monthly household spending.
  • To reduce costs, 73% of homeowners turn off lights when not in use and 53% utilize energy-efficient bulbs.
  • ⅓ of homeowners are considering alternative energy and transportation options to reduce their energy costs.

American homeowners are feeling the impact of record-high inflation on their monthly household expenses. In a new SaveOnEnergy.com® survey of 1,012 adult homeowners, 62% say their electricity bills are higher this year than last year. 

As the consumer price index ticked up to 8.6% in May from a year ago, 85% of homeowners have noticed an increase in overall household expenses over the last year. An overwhelming majority (93%) of those who own a home are concerned about the impact of inflation on their monthly household expenses, while 7% are unconcerned.

When asked which household expenses have increased year-over-year, homeowners are most likely to say electricity (62%). Fewer say payments for water use (44%), utility gas service (44%), and cable services/TV subscription (43%) have increased.

Why trust SaveOnEnergy?

Learn More

At SaveOnEnergy, we work to offer accurate information with editorial integrity. Our partners do not direct our editorial content, though we may reference their products in our posts. Read more about how we make money.

Household Expense Categories Where Homeowners Noticed Higher Prices

Older generations are more aware of rising household expenses

  • Year-over-year, most baby boomers (ages 57-75) (65%) and Gen X (ages 41-56) (70%) homeowners noticed a hike in electricity costs compared to less than half of millennial homeowners (ages 25-40) (47%). 
  • Baby boomers (46%) and Gen X (48%) homeowners were also more likely to see a surge in utility gas service prices over last year, compared to 36% of millennial homeowners. 
  • A noticeable increase in this year’s water bill was reported by 52% of Gen X respondents, compared to 40% of millennials and 44% of boomers. 

Low-income households struggle to pay utility bills and are most concerned about inflation

Nearly all (96%) homeowners with a household income less than $40,000 and an income between $40,000-$80,000 (95%) are concerned about the impact of inflation on their monthly household expenses. Out of those who are concerned, homeowners with a household income below $40,000 are most likely (80%) to say they are very concerned about inflation’s impacts.

  • Those earning less than $40,000 were more likely to miss a utility payment in the past year than those earning $80,000 and higher (10% and 4%, respectively). 
  • They were six times more likely to experience utility shutoffs in the past year than those earning $80,000 and higher (6% and 1%) and twice as likely than those earning $40,000-$80,0000 (3%). 
  • 1 in 4 (25%) who make under $40,000 received a late payment call or written notice in the past year, which is three and a half times more than those making $80,000 and higher (7%) and double those earning between $40,000 and $80,000 (10%). 

Homeowners’ Concerns Over Impact of Inflation on Monthly Household Expenses

Americans are taking action at home to reduce their energy costs

Energy costs are the key driver of the current U.S. inflation, which has hit a 40-year high in May 2022. But homeowners are taking action to cut their energy costs. 87% of survey respondents report they have taken measures to reduce their energy costs over the last year, while 13% said they have not taken any action.

Such measures included:

  • Switching off lights when not using them (73% of respondents) 
  • Relying on energy-efficient light bulbs (53%)  
  • Unplugging electronics when not using them (34%)
  • Utilizing energy-efficient appliances (29%) 

Measures Taken in the Past Year to Reduce Home Energy Costs

Homeowners considered the following three measures as the most impactful in reducing their energy costs:

  • Turning off lights when not using them (39% of respondents) 
  • Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs (22%)
  • Using energy-efficient appliances (15%)

1 in 5 homeowners (21%) are unsure what has impacted their energy savings most.

 

Measures That Had the Most Impact on Savings

There are generational differences in taking certain measures to reduce energy costs. 

  • 58% of boomers and 53% of Gen X are more likely to shift to energy-efficient light bulbs than millennials. 
  • 77% of boomers and 76% of Gen X are more likely to turn off lights when not using them compared to 61% of millennials. 
  • But more millennial homeowners (7%) are likely to use solar panels than boomer (4%) or Gen X (6%) homeowners. 
  • Millennial homeowners (8%) are also more likely to notice an impact of solar panel use on their energy savings than boomer (4%) and Gen X (2%) homeowners. 

33% of homeowners considering different options to cut energy costs

When asked about alternative energy and transportation solutions, such as acquiring electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid cars, or solar panels to reduce their energy costs: 

  • 33% of homeowners are considering such options 
  • 19% neither agree nor disagree
  • 48% disagree 

Attitudes toward alternative solutions differed among income levels. 

  • 41% of those earning $80,000 or higher were more likely to agree that they are considering options like EVs, hybrid cars, and solar panels than those making below $40,000 (28%). 
  • 33% of homeowners making between $40,000 and $80,000 agree they were considering alternative energy and transportation solutions.
  • About a third of each generation agree that they are considering alternative energy and transportation solutions: 39% of millennial, 32% of Gen X, and 32% of boomer homeowners.

Some Americans favor government assistance with utility expenses

Of surveyed homeowners, 42% agree that the government should support people with utility expenses, while 35% disagree with such an approach. 23% neither agree nor disagree.

Attitudes toward government assistance with utility expenses varied across income levels and generations:

  • Homeowners earning under $40,000 are nearly twice as likely to agree with that statement than those making between $40,000 and $80,000 or more (61%, 36%, and 34% respectively). 
  • 55% of millennial homeowners are more likely to agree with that statement than 37% of boomer and 38% of Gen X homeowners.

Some homeowners support different payment options

When asked whether the availability of different payment options would help alleviate homeowners’ monthly bills:

  • 32% of all respondents agree that it would 
  • 41% neither agree nor disagree      
  • 28% disagree

Methodology

SaveOnEnergy.com commissioned YouGov PLC to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov PLC. The total sample size was 1,012 adults that own a home. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adult homeowners (aged 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken between June 6-8, 2022. The survey was carried out online, and it meets rigorous quality standards. 

About SaveOnEnergy.com:

SaveOnEnergy.com is an online marketplace where you can compare energy plans and top providers at no cost. Our mission is to educate, empower, and connect customers with the best home energy products.

Ready to shop for an energy plan? Let’s get you taken care of. Call:

Enter your ZIP code to get started

Are you moving to a new address?