Every American is paying higher energy bills right now, part of a one-two financial punch with inflation at four-decade highs. Yet, for the nation’s Hispanic population, there is a third hit: our households pay 20 percent higher energy bills than the median American family.
There are more troubling statistics. Two in five Hispanics surveyed early this year couldn’t pay an energy bill, and 18 percent had their utilities disconnected. As for transportation costs, Hispanics spend relatively more because of sharply higher gas and used car prices. No wonder Hispanics incurred a 9.8 percent inflation rate for major consumption categories in May, which is 0.6 percentage points higher than the overall rate.
In recent years, we have begun to hear more and more concerns about energy costs from our members at The Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. At a time of really high prices and bad policy choices, it’s become clear to me that there needs to be Hispanic voices helping shape energy policy.