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LIHEAP Emergency Contingency Funding History

Note: Emergency funding to supplement regular LIHEAP appropriations occurred prior to 1994, but the 1994 reauthorization of LIHEAP made emergency funding official. That year Congress provided permanent authorization of an emergency contingency fund of up to $600 million (in addition to regular LIHEAP funding) "to meet the additional home energy assistance needs of one or more States arising from a natural disaster or other emergency." The 1998 reauthorization of LIHEAP added a new section that specified additional conditions under which LIHEAP emergency funds may be released, to include: "a natural disaster, any other event meeting criteria the Secretary determines appropriate, or a significant increase in: (1) home energy supply shortages or disruptions; (2) the cost of home energy;(3) home energy disconnections; (4) participation in a public benefit program such as the food stamp program; or (5) a significant increase in unemployment or layoffs." Click here to view a graph of the history of emergency contingency funding.

FY
Number
of
States
Funding (millions)
Comment
1982   $123 M Federal supplemental appropriation
1983      
1984 23 $200 M Federal supplemental appropriation
1985      
1986      
1987      
1988      
1989      
1990
33
$50 M Cold weather in December 1989 and sharp increases in fuel costs initiated release of funds, states applied for emergency funds.
1991 50 $195 M The average retail price of heating oil was 20% higher in December 1990 than the December average in the years 1986-1989. All states except Hawaii received funds.
1992      
1993      
1994 23 $298 M Unusually cold January weather increased home heating bills.
1995 19 $100 M Severe July heat wave, state eligibility for funds was based on whether the state's average number of cooling degree days in the week ending July 15 was at least 30% greater than the 30-year average for that state.
1996 51 $180 M Due to cold and prolonged winter weather, emergency monies were released to all states and DC under the normal LIHEAP allocation formula.
1997 51 $215 M On January 15, North and South Dakota received $5 million after being declared national disaster areas due to extreme winter storms. Severe cold weather in addition to a one-time price spike in fuel costs resulted in an additional release of $210 million on January 31. Eight states that experienced colder weather than their 30-year average received additional relief of $58.7 million. The remainder, $151.3 million, was distributed to the rest of the states.
1998 12 $160 M A July heat wave in the south resulted in many heat-related deaths, especially among the elderly. Funds were released in two allotments and were awarded to states where the number of cooling degree days (CDDs) for the period of June 1 to August 8 exceeded by at least 100 or more CDDs the 30-year average for that time period for each of the states. A third distribution of $10 million was granted to Alaska for the purchase of heating oil for the coming winter. A disastrously low salmon run for the second year in a row severely limited cash available to buy heating oil.
1999 26 $175 M $100 million released to 17 states that experienced severe heat during June 27 - July 10, an additional $55 million released August 3 to the nine states most affected by the extreme heat, based on the severity of the heat wave and the number of low-income households in the state. Further distributions of $20 million, September 30, and $5 million, October 18, were granted to North Carolina and New Jersey, respectively, to help low-income families recover from the effects of devastating floods in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
2000 51 $744 M There were two separate sources of FY 2000 emergency funding: (1) $300 million FY 2000 LIHEAP Emergency Contingency Fund. Of this New Jersey received $5 million in October 1999 for energy related damage resulting from severe flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd; $45 million was released January 25, 2000 to 11 states most seriously affected by increases in home heating fuel; $130 million released February 10 of which $85 million was allocated to all grantees and $45 million to 11 states most affected by oil and propane prices; and $120 million released February 16 to 31 states with at least a 5 percent price impact factor for oil and propane. (2) The Emergency Supplemental Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-146, signed into law on July 13, 2000) appropriated an additional $600 million in LIHEAP energy emergency contingency funds, to be available until expended. Of this, $41.75 million was released July 25 to 8 southern states suffering from hot weather and to Alaska for the disastrously low salmon run; southern California received $2.6 million August 23 for substantially higher summer electricity rates; $400 million released September 23 to all states and territories for increases in heating oil, natural gas, and propane prices in the coming winter.
2001 51 $456 M The remainder of the $600 million Emergency Supplemental Act funds, $156 million, was released December 18, again to all states in response to increased heating oil, natural gas and propane prices. $300 million released December 28 to all states with majority going to cold weather states in the northeast and midwest.
2002 33 $100 M $100 million was allocated to the states most affected by the extreme heat, states had to have 70 or more cooling degree days in excess of the norm for the 6 week period ending August 3, based on NOAA weather data.
2003 51 $200 M $200 million was allocated to states, tribes and territories due to increases in home heating fuel prices. The Department of Energy's EIA predicts that home heating oil prices this winter will be more than 20 percent higher than the average of the last five years.
2004 51 $99 M $99.4 million was allocated to states, tribes and territories due to  increases in home heating fuel prices and the colder than normal January weather in many states. Forty percent of the funds were released to all grantees based on the regular block grant allocation formula and 60 percent of the funds were released to 19 states that experienced 65 or more excess heating degree days (HDDs) above the norm for the month of January.
2005 51
$277 M
December 2004 - $100 million in emergency funds released to low-income families pay their heating bills. An additional distribution of $100 million was released to all states in January 2005. Another $50 million was released to all states March 1, 2005. On September 3, 2005, $27.25 million was released to 4 states hit hardest by hurricane Katrina - (AL $2 million, FL $1.5 million, LA $12 million and MS $11.75 million).
2006 51 $680 M January 5, 2006 - $100 million released to all states, tribes and territories to help low-income families pay their heating bills. March 23, 2006 - $500 million released to 25 states. September 12, 2006 - $79.96 million released to 14 states and tribes that were expected to face significant heating oil price increases for the upcoming winter.
2007 12 $181 M August 29, 2007 - $50 million released to 12 states and tribes within that experienced hotter than normal temperatures during August. September 26, 2007 - $106.17 million to all states, tribes and territories; $25 million allocated to 7 states based on heating oil use and average temperature at or below 47 degrees for the 6-month period from October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007.
2008 51 $611 M January 16, 2008 - $450 million released to all states to help low-income households cope
with the high costs for fuel this winter, particularly for those states that are largely dependent on heating oil. February 22, 2008 - $40 million released to 11 states with record high costs for home heating oil. September 17, 2008 - $96 million distributed to all states and $25 million directed to 7 states that had 30 percent or more of its low-income households using heating oil for heat.
2009 51 $590 M October 16, 2008 - $490 million released to all states and DC based on their regular block grant allocation percents and $100 million to 7 States with 30 percent or more low-income households using heating oil.
2010 51 $591 M January 20, 2010 - $450 million released to all states and DC based on their regular block grant allocation weighted by unemployment. Additional $40 million released to 14 states weighted by cold weather, unemployment and number of households at or below 125 percent poverty level. September 20, 2010 - $101 million released to all state and DC based on their regular (old) block grant allocations.
2011 51 $200 M January 24, 2011 - $200 million released to all states and DC, tribes and territories
Total
1990-2011
  $6,424 M