HHS provides more than $1.8 billion to states to help low-income households with energy costs
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the release of more than $1.7 billion to help low income citizens with their heating and home energy costs. These funds will go to states, tribes and territories under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant.
"We are releasing these funds now to ensure low-income families are able to meet their heating cost expenses this winter," said Secretary Sebelius. "This program helps to offset seasonal energy costs for those families, leaving them with more opportunity to use their income for other necessities."
LIHEAP assists qualified families with their home energy needs such as heating in the winter, cooling their homes in the summer, and insulating their homes to make them more energy efficient and reduce their energy costs. The result of this funding lessens the chance of families having to choose between paying their energy bills and other necessities, such as food or medicine. States are receiving $1.7 billion now for their immediate needs, but may currently access an additional $136 million, if needed.
"Many needy families face their most challenging moments during the cold months of the year," said George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for children and families. "These LIHEAP funds come at a critical time and can help provide those families with the heating assistance they need to stay warm and safe during these upcoming winter months."
A complete list of funds available to states today is below: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2011/2012CR-LIHEAP_1stQTR.html.
Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact their local/state LIHEAP agency. For more information, go to: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap or http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/brochure/brochure.html.