August 30, 2012 -- In response to a record heat wave and record utility bills, the state of Kansas earlier this month allocated $18.3 million in LIHEAP funds to provide an additional subsidy to help cover summer utility bills.
The 54,000 Kansas households that received LIHEAP funds to help pay winter heating bills were automatically eligible for an additional payment averaging $340, according to the Kansas Department of Children and Families, the LIHEAP office. Recipients weren't required to submit a new application and the payments went directly to utility companies rather than individual households, officials said.
This past winter, eligible Kansas households received an average LIHEAP benefit of $182 to help with heating bills. The adjusted average benefit for the year will be $522. Due to mild winter weather, the program spent less than expected, only $9.8 million, leaving the $18.3 million for summer cooling costs.
A Kansas newspaper reported some people were seeing an increase of 200 percent in their electric bills due to the record heat which, the newspaper said, was over 100 degrees every day in July.
Source: Kansas Department of Children and Families, newspapers