Rising utility bills are stressing Americans out, and rightfully so. In fact, the cost of electricity went up 15% last year. People are feeling it — 77% of more than 1,000 people surveyed by Payless Power saw their utility bills go up this last year.
As much as we hate to pay those bills, we’re stuck and companies know it. Electricity, gas, water — they're all kind of necessities. It’s forcing 91% of survey participants to make budget cuts just to afford their utility bills — and the things they are sacrificing are surprising.
Here are some standout takeaways from Payless Power's report on how Americans are adjusting to rising utility bills.
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Roughly 20% of those surveyed actually downsized their home this year just to pay utility bills. Additionally, 1 in 5 said they are taking colder showers to afford their energy bills. And 45% of survey participants are buying fewer groceries so they can pay off their bills.
Some of this stress may also be related to where you live in the country. The study found that those in the Northeast were the group most likely to be behind on bills; 9 in 10 people surveyed from that region said the rising costs were causing them stress. In the South, 85% of people weren’t as concerned about their bills.
The survey also discovered that Americans are doing all sorts of things to lower their bills. Some were more obvious solutions, like the 33% who are trying to shop sales and discounts more often to save money. Then there are the 25% who are actually taking on a second job or working more hours just so they can pay their bills. Some other surprising stats:
- The top subscription to cut in order to pay bills is Netflix, with Disney coming in second.
- Amazon Music is the music service most likely to be cut.
- 8% of those surveyed cut their OnlyFans subscription to save money.
Saving energy is, of course, an obvious way to lower bills — just don’t use it. That's why 70% of those surveyed turn off lights and 54% unplug things. Plus, 45% have spent money to save money — they bought energy-efficient appliances, which can save around $100 per year per appliance.
Though Americans have their hands tied when it comes to rising utility prices, the survey concludes that, in the end, high prices may increase environmentally-aware habits, which is always a good thing.