Reaching Out

Many Gainesville residents may not realize how much low-income families struggle to pay utility bills here. A small but committed corps has worked on the problem for years: Churches and social services agencies provide emergency bill payment. Nonprofits and government programs help retrofit homes to use less energy and water. But ultimately, solving the energy burden will take the larger community and core fixes, from affordable housing to transportation.


State of Emergency

In a county where the poverty rate is 22 percent, electricity costs are some of the highest in the state and the poorest residents spend an uncommonly high portion of income on electricity bills, just paying those bills has become an emergency for some.
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Aging in Place

A disproportionate number of clients seeking help with utility costs are seniors. Ensuring their homes are efficient can lower their bills and keep them healthier.
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Route to Poverty – or Prosperity

Transportation is a key part of the energy burden, as low-income families must devote increasing portions of household budgets to getting around — too often unreliably.
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