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Coastal Desk

Tens of thousands of New Orleanians struggle with energy costs. See the most burdened areas.

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US Army Corps of Engineers
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Communities in southeast Louisiana are among those struggling the most to pay monthly electricity bills, overburdened by the cost of energy, according to federal data.

In New Orleans and East Baton Rouge Parish combined, about 150,000 residents live in areas with what the federal government considers to be a “high energy burden,” according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy. A household’s energy burden is determined by how much of the gross household income is spent on energy costs. Spending 6% or more of annual income on energy is considered high.

That data also shows that New Orleans holds some of the census tracts spending an outsized proportion of their income to keep the lights on. In the Iberville neighborhood, for example, residents are estimated to spend 19% of their income, on average, on energy. It’s the 12th highest energy burdened census tract in the nation.

Nationally, low-income households are more likely to grapple with a higher burden, according to the Department of Energy. New Orleans follows that trend. Across the city, 27% of the census tracts in Orleans Parish bear a high energy burden, and low-income people make up the majority of all but two of those tracts.

East Baton Rouge Parish is no different, with low-income residents making up the majority of every overburdened census tract. Nearly a quarter of East Baton Rouge Parish deals with a high energy burden.

Below, you can search through interactive maps of New Orleans and Baton Rouge to see the energy burden in your area and others throughout the cities.

New Orleans

Here are some of the most energy-burdened areas in New Orleans:

  1. Census Tract 48, Iberville Neighborhood: residents spend an average of 19% of annual income on energy costs (ranks 12th highest nationally)
  2. Census Tract 17.51, Viavant and Venetian Isles Neighborhoods: residents spend an average of 16% of annual income on energy costs (ranks 26th highest nationally)
  3. Census Tract 85, Central City Neighborhood: residents spend an average of 13% of annual income on energy costs
  4. Census Tract 44.02, Treme/Lafitte Neighborhood: residents spend an average of 12% of annual income on energy costs
  5. Census Tract 22, St. Roch Neighborhood: residents spend an average of 11% of annual income on energy costs

East/West Baton Rouge Parish

Here are some of the most energy-burdened communities in Baton Rouge:

  1. Census Tract 4: residents spend an average of 9% of annual income on energy costs
  2. Census Tract 30: residents spend an average of 9% of annual income on energy costs 
  3. Census Tract 31.3: residents spend an average of 9% of annual income on energy costs
  4. Census Tract 1: residents spend an average of 8% of annual income on energy costs
  5. Census Tract 53: residents spend an average of 8% of annual income on energy costs

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