Minorities and Energy: A Review of Recent Findings and a Guide to Future Research

James A. Throgmorton and M. Bernard III. 1986. In Proceedings of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 1986 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings Vol. VII. Washington: American Council for an Energy- Efficient Economy: 260-280.

This report discusses the results of the research on minority energy consumption and expenditures being conducted by Argonne National Laboratory for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Minority Economic Impact. After summarizing what was known about minorities and energy prior to 1982, the paper briefly reviews current research results in the areas of minority residential and transportation energy use patterns, energy policy assessments, and minority energy business development. The results suggest that, when income and location (transportation) or climate (residential) are statistically controlled, black households differ from nonblack households in their ability or willingness to make long-term capital investments in energy-efficient consumer durables (e.g., automobiles and appliances). Two hypotheses to explain these results are proposed, relating to the culture of minority poverty and structural constraints. Implications of the current results and proposed hypotheses are then briefly discussed.

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