$4.5 Billion For Help With Winter Heating Costs

Source: NJToday.net

Four and a half billion dollars in assistance will help lower heating costs for American families this winter to give working middle-class American families more breathing room.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds – distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services – will go to states, territories, and tribes.

In addition to subsidizing home heating costs this winter and covering unpaid utility bills, the federal program will help families make cost-effective home energy repairs to lower their heating and cooling bills.

The funds are a combination of regular appropriations by Congress, $100 million from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and additional emergency funding Congress included in the September continuing resolution following the Biden-Harris Administration’s request for these funds.

This past year, LIHEAP served over 5.3 million households with heating, cooling, and weatherization services. This support was particularly important during the winter and summer months, as millions of Americans dealt with extreme weather and natural disasters.

“No family or person should have to go without needed heating or cooling in their home,” said ACF Assistant Secretary January Contreras. “This funding will support struggling individuals and families by helping lift the economic burden of staying warm this winter.”

“Low-income households spend three times more of their income on energy costs than more affluent households,” said Dr. Lanikque Howard, director of ACF Office of Community Services. “As extreme weather events increase in frequency, it is more important than ever that we do everything we can to ensure individuals and families are aware of, apply for, and receive assistance.”

The White House has been releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices and calling on energy companies to stop gouging consumers, and has secured the Inflation Reduction Act, which utility CEOs say will save American families hundreds of dollars a month on utility bills.

Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance can visit EnergyHelp.us or call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) hotline toll-free at 1-866-674-6327.

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