Energy Poverty is defined as when a household spends more than 10% of their income on energy costs. In America there are several places shown on a map using census and federal energy data shows where energy costs are 50% of the incomes. The poor cannot afford higher energy costs. Can America fight Energy Poverty with Solar Power? The average cost to install residential solar power is almost $17,000 in 2017. Who living below the poverty line has an extra $17,000 laying around?