Energy Bill Payment Assistance to Low-Income Households Increases, Need for Help Persists

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Energy Bill Payment Assistance to Low-Income Households Increases, Need for Help Persists

Energy bill payment assistance to low-income households increased significantly over the past two years. Federal government assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) reached record levels -- $5.1 billion was allocated for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 and FY2010, compared to $2.6 billion in FY2008. Also, utility rate assistance programs provided $2.4 billion in rate assistance to these customers in 2009, an increase of 7.5 percent compared to 2007. Last winter, heating bills fell to the lowest levels in two years. Finally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $5 billion for DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which will both improve the energy efficiency of lowincome homes, thus lowering energy bills in the long-run, and preserve and create jobs to assist those in need. Yet with all this assistance, the need for help continues.

Please direct inquires to:
Bruce McDowell, Director, Policy Analysis, (202) 824-7131

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