As of November 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has released $3.37 billion in LIHEAP Funding to states. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, helps families living on low incomes by paying their heating bills in the form of a cash grant.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and recent increases in home-heating expenses, this funding will be a major help to homeowners struggling to keep up with vital expenses.
LIHEAP Funding Released to Alleviate Rising Oil Prices
The four percent of U.S. households using oil heat are expected to spend an average of $1,734 on heating expenses for the 2021-2022 winter season, according to the U.S. Energy Department. This is compared to an average cost of $1,210 for last year. Since oil and gas prices are expected to continue to increase, this allocation of $3.37 billion will surely alleviate some financial stresses.
Note that these funds are provided in addition to the $4.5 billion in emergency funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March.
Pennsylvania specifically is set to receive $112,665,012 in grant money.
According to the LIHEAP website, each cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the fuel provider to be credited on the homeowner's bill. These grants range from $500 to $1,500 based on household size, income, and fuel type. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. Note that these are grants -- not loans -- and therefore do not have to be repaid.
Visit LIHEAP's website to learn how to apply for a grant.
Also of note, on October 19, 2021, the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) requested an additional $5 billion be provided in the i package to support heating and cooling expenses, according to the
Vice President & Director of Government Affairs at NEFI, Jim Collura. $2.5 billion out of this would be for LIHEAP. It is unclear if that request will be met.
Living in Lower Bucks County and surrounding areas? Visit our My Express Oil site for discounted, proportionally priced home-heating oil.