If your utility bills have increased, how are you coping with increased expenses? Please explain. (Cumulative Q.27b/47)





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Contributed date

June 6, 2022 - 5:58pm

Critical Commentary

This chart reflects responses to Question #47 from the Spring 2020 and Winter 2020 surveys and Question #27b in the Spring 2021 survey which asks respondents “If your utility bills have increased, how are you coping with increased expenses? Please explain.” Open ended responses were categorized as follows

  • Just paying for them

  • Utility bills haven’t increased or N/A

  • Adapting lifestyle to pay for increased expenses

  • Insignificant change in expenses

  • Hasn’t received a bill/unknown if they’ve increased

  • External support

  • Other bills have decreased which has balanced out increased utility expenses.

  • Paying what they can afford (not paying the bill in its entirety)

  • Paying some utilities while not paying others

  • Through energy assistance

  • Other

142 respondents answered this question

  • Forty-four (30.99%) respondents just paid them.

  • Nine respondents (6.34%) reported the increases were not insignificant

  • Three respondents (2.11%) asked reported their family was helping

  • Three respondents (2.11%) answered that their unemployment helped them. 

  • One respondent (0.70%) used student aid.  

  • Ten respondents (7.04%) answered “other.”

  • Two respondents (1.41%) answered that their stimulus check helped them. 

  • Four respondents (2.82%) reported decreases in other bills balanced out the increases.

  • Two respondents (1.41%) were trying to save money.

  • Ten respondents (7.04%) reported they were trying to save energy.

  • Fifteen respondents (10.56%) changed or adapted their lifestyle.

  • Three respondents (2.11%) went into their savings

  • Five respondents (3.52%) reported working more hours. 

  • Three respondents (2.11%) paid their bills late

  • Sixteen respondents (11.27%) reported they paid what they can

  • Eight respondents (5.63%) used energy assistance.

  • Five respondent (3.52%) prioritized some bills over others 

  • Ten respondents (7.04%) were on a payment plan. 

  • Two respondents (1.41%) were unsure 

  • One respondent (0.70%) took out a loan

  • One respondent (0.70%) was not paying their bills.

  • Two respondents (1.41%) called the company

  • One respondent (0.70%) asked for an extension 


The data was produced by the Shifting Energy Demands in COVID-19 Survey, which has been administered to 234 people over two time periods. The Spring 2020 survey was administered to 86 people between May and June, and the Winter 2020 survey was administered to 83 people between December 2020 and March 2021 The Spring 2021 survey was administered to 65 people between March 2021 and June 2021. Visit the Shifting Energy Demands in COVID-19 - Spring + Winter 2020 Survey Results page to view more data from our survey. The project is approved by Drexel’s IRB.




Cite as

Andrew Rosenthal, " If your utility bills have increased, how are you coping with increased expenses? Please explain. (Cumulative Q.27b/47)", contributed by Andrew Rosenthal, Alison Kenner, Briana Leone, Morgan Sarao and James Adams, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 6 June 2022, accessed 29 June 2022. https://energyrights.info/content/if-your-utility-bills-have-increased-how-are-you-coping-increased-expenses-please-explain-0