Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was created by Congress to help our nation’s low income households stay warm during the winter and cool in the summer. This critical program provides federal funding to help natural gas customers who struggle with home heating and cooling bills during times of extreme weather.
LIHEAP is a block grant program under which the federal government gives states annual grants to operate home energy assistance programs for low income households. The LIHEAP statute provides for two types of program funding – regular funds and emergency contingency funds. Regular funds are allotted to states according to a formula prescribed in the statute. Contingency funds are allotted and released by the president and the secretary of Health and Human Services. Every year, Congress must appropriate funds for LIHEAP.
Supporting Those in Need
According to a study by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, LIHEAP recipient households are more vulnerable to temperature extremes since they are likely to have seniors, disabled members or children in the home. More than 90 percent of LIHEAP households had at least one of these vulnerable household members. Nearly one third reported that they went without food, more than 40 percent sacrificed medical care, and one quarter had someone in the home become sick because the home was too cold.
We are committed to supporting our customers in need and the appropriation of the fully authorized amount for LIHEAP.