The Iowa legislature debated whether to change its utility disconnection policy. The debate centered around three questions: 1) whether family size or income influences energy consumption; 2) whether elderly people consume more energy than families; and 3) whether energy subsidies foster increased energy use and energy waste. This paper reports energy consumption patterns for a sample of low income people. Economic demand theory predicts that energy consumption will increase as income increases. This hypothesis was statistically rejected. Second, legislators assumptions about energy consumption were formulated into hypotheses. These hypotheses were statistically rejected.

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