2019 Annual Affordability Report

The 2019 Annual Affordability Report highlights trends in the affordability of households’ essential electric, gas, water, and communications services. The report provides a geographically-focused assessment using these three metrics: affordability ratio (AR), hours at minimum wage (HM), and socioeconomic vulnerability index (SEVI). Read our Press Release. For the full report with appendices, please click here.

Affordability Ratio Calculator

The Affordability Ratio Calculator (ARC) is an annually updated Excel-based calculator that will be pre-populated with the values needed to calculate the Affordability Ratio (AR) for representative households at the 20th and 50th percentiles of the income distribution within each PUMA based on the most recently available socioeconomic, essential usage bills, and forecast data.

2019 Affordability Ratio Calculator (ARC) - please note that this is a very large Excel file. It is highly recommended that you save this file to your hard drive (right-click and save) and open it from there.

Metrics Data and Interactive Maps

Below are the downloadable tabular files, interactive maps, and raw data work papers of the three metrics.

Affordability Ratio

The Affordability Ratio (AR) metric quantifies the percentage of a representative household’s income that would be used to pay for an essential utility service, after non-discretionary expenses such as housing and other essential utility service charges are deducted from the household’s income.  The higher an AR, the less affordable the utility service.  The AR may be calculated for a single essential utility service, a combination of services, or all essential utility services combined.

ARC Table

Essential Usage/Service Bill

Hours at Minimum Wage

The Hours at Minimum Wage (HM) metric quantifies the hours of earned employment at the city minimum wage necessary for a household to pay for essential utility service charges. The minimum wage-based metric also implicitly considers the impact of essential utility service charges on lower-income customers regardless of the socioeconomic conditions of the community as a whole. 

HM Table

Socioeconomic Vulnerability Index

The Socioeconomic Vulnerability Index (SEVI) metric represents the relative socioeconomic standing of census tracts, referred to as communities, in terms of poverty, unemployment, educational attainment, linguistic isolation, and percentage of income spent on housing.  This metric therefore considers how a rate change may affect one community’s ability to pay more than another’s.

SEVI Table