August 9th, 2018
August marks LIHEAP Action Month and highlights the year-round effort to protect the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
During the most extreme weather periods, energy is a life-critical resource. Unfortunately, many families across the nation continue to struggle with energy affordability, in some cases putting their lives at risk, forcing people to make choices between things like medicine or food, or paying their utility bills. LIHEAP provides help to vulnerable households by assisting with energy costs and offers much needed relief for thousands of people who rely on the service.
Dollar Energy Fund works in conjunction with LIHEAP to make sure that limited-income individuals and families still receive the financial assistance they need to survive. When the LIHEAP program is open, eligible customers must apply for LIHEAP funding prior to applying for a grant from Dollar Energy Fund. It’s our goal to help the most people while meeting the greatest need, so we extend the reach of our funds by directing eligible utility customers to apply for federal funding first whenever it is available.
In March, Congress approved the $1.3 trillion spending bill and made a FY2018 increase for LIHEAP a reality. The bill provided $3.64 billion for LIHEAP, an improvement of $250 million, which was the largest increase since 2009. The National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) and advocates from across the country have worked tirelessly to urge Congress to support the program. The #SaveLIHEAP effort has undoubtedly contributed to this successful outcome.
Unlike entitlement programs that receive increases with growth in the eligible population, LIHEAP does not automatically receive an increase and must be reviewed and approved by Congress annually. Advocates are asking Congress to protect and increase LIHEAP appropriations for FY2019. LIHEAP is a small Federal program, but it has a multiplier effect. When struggling families can afford energy, they are more likely to remain in their homes, households are stabilized, and seniors and veterans maintain access to service.
Please take the time to learn more about NEUAC and LIHEAP Action Month by visiting neuac.org.
Click here to view state-by-state fact sheets on LIHEAP eligibility, funding and usage.
Talk to your utility company if you’re experiencing a hardship and they will assess what programs you might be eligible for, including a grant from LIHEAP or Dollar Energy Fund.
Your contribution directly supports an individual or family facing a utility crisis.
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