Consumer Energy Expenditures are Roughly 5% of Disposable Income, Below Long-Term Average

October 24th, 2014
in econ_news

by Kay Smith, U.S. Energy Information Agency

Total U.S. household energy consumption expenditures have generally declined relative to disposable income since 1960, although during periods of high energy prices, consumers devote increasing shares of their income to energy. Energy expenditures ranged between 4% and 8% of disposable income since 1960. Consumer energy expenditures today are a lower percentage of disposable income than the average from 1960 to present (5.5% average).

Follow up:

graph of consumer energy expenditures' share of disposable income, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bureau of Economic Analysis

Consumer energy expenditures as a percent of disposable income in 2013 remain lower than the average since the 1960s, even though consumer energy prices grew faster than inflation over that period. Because electricity and transportation spending accounts for more than two-thirds of consumer energy expenditures, increasing vehicle fuel efficiencies and changing fuels used for home heating have contributed to lower consumer energy expenditures relative to disposable income.

graph of consumer price index and consumer energy prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics

Consumer energy prices have been more volatile than overall consumer prices especially during the 1970s, early 2000s, and again in the recent recession in 2008-09. During periods when energy prices are changing rapidly, they historically have changed quicker than energy use, leading to large swings in energy expenditures as a share of disposable income.

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved