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. In a depressed economy, many low‐income citizens cannot afford to heat and cool their homes because of financial woes. 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.