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Events Bring Music, Food, Fun and Heating Assistance

January 20, 2017 – Across the country, non-profits and fuel funds are kicking off campaigns to provide low-income energy assistance. In some places, community events are used to raise funds. Vermont and West Virginia are hosting such events in January and February. Vermont will start the “Ski for Heat” event on January 21, and West Virginia will kickoff the “Warming Hands and Hearts” Initiative on February 1.

Vermont’s Ski for Heat Event

Solar Energy Coming to NY’s Low-Income Communities

January 6, 2017 -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in December that $3.6 million in funding is available to increase access to solar energy in low- to moderate-income households (LMI) through the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative. The initiative will help affordable housing providers and community organizations overcome barriers they often face in advancing solar and clean energy projects for LMI communities.

Lights Out for the Lite-Up Texas Program

January 13, 2017 – Texas has ended the Lite-Up Texas program, which provided energy assistance to nearly 700,000 low-income households in 2015. According to the Public Service Commission (PSC), the program covered 25 to 31 percent of these households’ electricity bills.

Lawmakers created the Lite-Up program in 1999, funded by ratepayers across Texas to assist low-income households on the state’s newly deregulated electricity market. Texans who received Medicaid or food stamps were eligible for the Lite-Up program.

Study Shows Correlation Between Economic Need and Health

December 16—Health Leads is in the news once again this week after findings published in a new report were released on Monday. The report addresses whether meeting the basic resource needs, such as housing, food, transportation and medication, in primary care can help improve patients’ health. Health patients that indicated a need in one or more of these areas were then referred by Health Leads volunteers to available community resources in their area.

Clinic Combats Correlation Between Poverty and Chronic Health Issues

December 2—According to a recent news report, enterprising non-profits and medical providers are looking into providing more thorough healthcare by not only addressing patients’ immediate medical needs, but by improving their quality of life at home. For many years now, studies linking poverty to increased health risks have raised awareness of the issue, but many healthcare providers have no means to address it.

Advocacy Groups Celebrate Key Wins in National Grid Rate Case

November 4, 2016—Last November, National Grid filed a request with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to increase its distribution rates to help cover the costs of net metering for distributed generation (DG) customers. The utility petitioned to increase customer rate charges, including the R-2 low-income rate which would be raised in two phases. Phase I would raise prices, while Phase II would introduce a tiered rate system that would charge between $6 and $20, based on usage.

HHS Releases FY2017 Funds

October 28, 2016—The Office of Community Services (OCS), Division of Energy Assistance (DEA), released approximately $3.09 billion of Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 regular block grant funding to LIHEAP grantees on October 25, 2016. This funding is provided under the Continuing Appropriations Resolution 2017, Public Law 114-223, which the President signed into law on September 29, 2016.

City Solar Credits Equal Savings for Newton Low Income Residents

October 21, 2016—Low-income customers of Eversource in Newton, Massachusetts could see lower bills in the future thanks to the city’s new Community Solar Share Initiative (CoSSi), Mayor Setti Warren recently announced. The project, a part of the city’s broader solar development efforts, involves the installation of a solar paneled carport above the Department of Public Works’ parking lot.

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