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Home Energy Aid To Get High As Congress Mulls Funding

The federal home energy assistance program that served more than 7 Million families went all-time high coinciding with a record number of customers lacking in payments.

January 23, 2024

Washington- The National Energy Assistance Directors Association reported that utility customers accumulated unprecedented debt despite the federal home energy assistance program aiding over 7 million families, a record number, in the last fiscal year. This situation highlights the urgent need for additional funding.

Congress must provide additional funding to bring heating and cooling assistance to last year’s levels to avoid forcing states to cut 1.5 Million families from the program.

Congress approved $2 Billion last year bringing the total spending to $6.1 Billion but lawmakers are yet to add extra funding in the fiscal year that began in October when the energy prices were high before the pandemic.

Currently, funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is delayed due to the appropriations process in Congress, as lawmakers finalize details following an agreement to fund the government through March.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, vice chair of the Appropriations Committee, expressed her commitment on Tuesday to collaborate with senators from both parties to secure the highest possible funding level for this program.

The significance and need for funding are reflected in the number of people behind on utility payments.

The research revealed that more than one out of six households are behind on their energy bills. Also, around 17.3% of households were unable to pay their energy bills at least once during the last 12 months.

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ABC News. “Home energy aid reaches new high as Congress mulls funding”. ABC News, January 23, 2024,
Home energy aid reaches new high as Congress mulls funding – ABC News (go.com)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021