Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is Crucial for American Families
Affordability is one of the greatest benefits of using natural gas, but 1 in 3 American families still struggles to pay their energy bills. Helping families ensure that they have the energy needed and don’t have to choose between heating their homes and other critical needs is why the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is so important. LIHEAP provides additional assistance that many Americans need because of rising utility bills and food prices, inflation on consumer products and increased cost of living overall. It is a critical, life-saving program that helps the most vulnerable Americans, such as the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and children.
Why is LIHEAP important?
The majority of families using the LIHEAP program earn less than $20,000 per year. Since their pay doesn’t increase or adjust based on energy needs, LIHEAP funds ensure they can still pay their bills. In 2020, LIHEAP helped lift 27,000 children out of poverty and assisted with repairs or replacements for families’ home systems that they previously couldn’t afford. LIHEAP is a lifeline for these families. Because of LIHEAP, families have the support they need to fuel their homes safely without worrying about unaffordable energy bills or their service being interrupted due to lack of payment.
LIHEAP relies on continued support
While the American Rescue Plan infused $4.5 billion in supplemental LIHEAP funds, Congress is now considering $5.1 billion in LIHEAP appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2023. But even with these funds in place, there are still many who struggle to pay their energy bills each year.
It’s important that this program continues to grow with the other economic factors contributing to energy insecurity.
If you would like to learn more about LIHEAP and the Congressional appropriations process, visit the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association for more information.