High utility bills aren’t just a nuisance — in some cases, they kill.

A new study out of Northwestern University found that increases in electricity and natural gas prices lead to more winter deaths. The effects were even larger among the poor, as families are forced to choose between putting food on the table and keeping their homes warm.

This study aligns with trends observed in the United Kingdom, where more and more fixed-income senior citizens are dying prematurely despite relatively mild winters.

As politicians consider policies that would make electricity more expensive, like carbon taxes and 100% renewable energy mandates, the connection between utility prices and mortality should be cause for serious concern.

Renewable mandates have caused electricity prices in Germany to soar up 46% since 2007, and a similar policy in Georgetown, Texas, has put the city’s utility $30 million in the hole and already led to rate hikes.

The Northwestern study shows that even when families reduce their energy use due to increased electricity prices, they still paid significantly more.

Politicians stuck in the D.C. bubble, who routinely ignore our $22 trillion national debt, miss the simple fact that bills have to be paid. American citizens have to shoulder the burdens of policies that create higher prices — and they should never have to choose between their health and their electricity bill.

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