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States' Use of Assurance 16

Note: In 1994, a new provision, Assurance 16, was added to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program statute. It provides LIHEAP grantees the option of spending no more than five percent of their LIHEAP funds on services that encourage and enable households to reduce their home energy needs and thereby the need for energy assistance, including needs assessment, counseling, and assistance with energy vendors.

State
% Funds
Description
Alabama
2017
1
Needs assessments focusing on target groups of the elderly, disabled and small children. Energy and financial counseling and assistance with energy suppliers with the goal to reduce disconnects and shut-offs.
Alaska
2017
1
Information about disconnects avoided and reconnections is collected at the time of application and by phone calls from clients throughout the season. Collect usage data from all vendors except wood and coal vendors.
Arizona
2017
5
Service Providers offer energy reduction education through various methods such as brochures, teaching applicants during the application process, in-house tutorial videos
presented in waiting areas, and/or classes.
Arkansas
2017
5
These activities may include, but are not limited to: Needs Assessments, Counseling, Assistance with Energy Suppliers, referrals to other coordinated services, presenting educational programs on fuel usage, meter reading, household budgeting, etc. Case Management Activities are targeted toward applicants of the Crisis Intervention Program and when deemed appropriate and necessary, the Regular Assistance Program.
California
2017
5
Local Service Providers address the energy needs of low-income households by conducting a thorough energy needs assessment of each client, providing budget counseling, energy conservation education, and coordination with utility companies. Whenever possible, weatherization services are also provided to offer a preventative, holistic and long-term solution to energy needs.
Connecticut
2017
1.24
Community action agencies provide the appropriate case management activities aimed at reducing reliance on LIHEAP funds and reducing their overall energy needs. Such services include, but are not limited to, risk assessment, counseling, energy reduction education/awareness, assistance with energy suppliers/vendors aimed at enabling households to achieve a greater degree of energy self-sufficiency, and financial education.
Delaware
2017
2.5
Services to eligible clients include energy education materials. Assurance 16 is also utilitzed for in-kind purchases like blankets and fans. LIHEAP is planning to print a calendar for 2017 that would not only provide education about the energy efficiency but also information about various other services for the low-income households that would encourage wider distribution of the calendars across the programs of Health and Social Services.
Florida
2017
0.5
Energy education and counseling are allowable costs.
Georgia
2017
0.01
Outreach materials, which inform clients about energy conservation and reduction in energy costs are given to or mailed to customers, especially those in the most vulnerable groups. Fuel providers are contacted to negotiate payment arrangements and re-connection of services. Consumer counseling regarding bill payments, schedules of payments, unsafe means of heating, energy conservation, budget billing, and other such information necessary to alleviate the energy burden. Partnerships were formed and maintained in an effort to strengthen and extend the resources available to low-income households. These resources were provided to consumers who may not have met all of the LIHEAP guidelines and to those whose bill amounts were higher than the allowable LIHEAP benefit.
Idaho
2017
3
Services provided include:
Information on payment plans during energy education, targeted to vulnerable populations and fixed income participants;
In-home energy education to support installation of utility-provided kit materials;
Purchase of low cost/no cost energy conservation items for non-regulated electric utility customers;
Leverage supplemental payments for participants who were unable to obtain their LIHEAP benefits;
Assessment of home energy use;
Referral to Weatherization program;
Provide centralized energy education classes to outreach sites, target households of a specific utility to increase impact;
Provide a supplemental payment to home energy vendor to incentivize participation in formal energy education; and
Advocacy on behalf of households with home energy vendor to prevent disconnection.
Illinois
2017
5
The Department conducts LIHEAP client education and counseling during the program and at the time of application. This counseling will encourage and enable LIHEAP households to reduce the cost of their home energy through energy conservation and energy lifestyle (behavioral) modifications.
Indiana
2017
5
Family Development provides low-income households with short term and long term case management. A goal of the program is to increase the
participation of at-risk families by providing outreach that should be directed toward the elderly, veterans, disabled and households with young children. Through Family Development case management, clients set goals and receive referrals for education, budgeting, home energy assessments, employment, child care, and a range of other self-sufficiency tools. Energy Education is administered through the Local Service providers, recipients receive energy conservation tips and techniques. During the 2016-2017 LIHEAP program year a pre-test and post-test will be given to households to determine how the client's energy education knowledge changed after receiving energy education.
Iowa
2017
2.92
Allowable activities using Assurance 16 funds include:
1) Conservation Education
2) Low-cost energy efficiency measures
3) Crisis Application
Crisis Application Components:
A. Needs Assessment (Examines payment and usage history)
B. Vendor Negotiation (Includes any contact with vendor)
C. Money Management Review
D. Customer Advocacy (This may include assisting in the application of other resources/programs,home visits, home energy evaluations, energy wise kit/class, etc.)
Kentucky
2017
0.1
Aencies that utilize LIHEAP funds for Assurance 16 will provide energy reduction solutions and education, including but not limited to the completion of and follow up on Weatherization applications. The CAAs will provide services based on the needs in their area, assisting households with a thorough and long-term plan to reduce a households energy usage and energy burden. One agency provides Financial Literacy and Home Ownership Classes, Workshops, and one-on-one counseling by certified Financial Literacy and HUD counseling staff; and basic Budget and Credit counseling. Another agency provides information/material to applicants to help the household to be more conscious of actions they can take to reduce energy consumption and save money. The intake worker will screen the applicant by asking questions regarding energy costs such as: What temperature do you set your thermostat at night and day? Do you change your furnace filter on monthly basis? Do you turn off lights when you leave the room? The intake worker will record the answers in the database used for the LIHEAP program. Applicants are asked to sign an Energy Counseling form confirming they have discussed and received printed materials regarding energy conservation.
Louisiana
2017
0.8
Energy education is provided, during the application process, to eligible and ineligible households. Contractors are required to develop active, participatory energy conservation education activities. Examples of active participatory educational activities include viewing a video, listening to an oral presentation, or audiotape. Contractors are encouraged to use educational activities that can be carried out while the applicant is waiting for intake. Educational activities shall not create an undue burden on the applicant or the contractor staff.
Maine
2017
5
Subgrantees may submit annual proposals for MaineHousing's consideration, describing their planned activities and expenses associated with providing services to applicants pursuant to Assurance 16 of the HEAP Act.
Maryland
2017
3
Supplemental Targeted Energy Program (STEP) is designed to provide an incentive-based grant to customers that participate in a set of services designed to address long-term energy affordability issues, such as energy education, linkage to energy efficiency, linkage to non-energy benefits, and reduction in the unit-cost of energy. Assurance 16 funds will cover the operational expenses of providing services and state funding will be used to fund the incentive benefit.
Massachusetts
2016
3
Subgrantees provide such services as: needs assessment, Benefit Enrollment and Coordination (BECS), budget counseling, energy education/awareness and vendor relations as part of the ongoing servicing of eligible households. These services are directed toward households that may be in financial/energy crisis requiring individual attention beyond the standard course of action. DHCD encourages targeted outreach, working with utilities on issues impacting users, particularly elders, expanding education and awareness efforts, and referring households to non-LIHEAP resources through BECS.
Michigan
2017
5
Allowable self-sufficiency expenditures include needs assessment, counseling, referrals to programs that aid in self-sufficiency, and assisting households to enroll in utility type affordable payment plans or other payment arrangements.
Minnesota
2017
5
Assurance 16 allowable activities may include:
- Budget counseling
- Energy conservation education
- Facilitation of household negotiations for budget payments
- Advocacy with fuel suppliers on behalf of households
- Household energy assessments
- Referrals
- Case management
- Public relations and outreach
Mississippi
2017
5
LIHEAP funds are used to conduct consumer education classes, vendor-sponsored workshops, and low-cost, no cost weatherization measures to eligible clients.
Montana
2017
2.5
Assurance 16 services are provided through ten local Human Resource Development Councils and one Area Agency on Aging. Each administering Agency targets client education activities for all eligible households in accordance with annual work plans submitted by each. Each work plan describes the eligible activity and then describes how the activity will be accomplished. Examples of activities include: outreach to general community and vulnerable population, client and youth energy education, vendor negotiation, referrals, meter reading assistance, fuel bill analysis, energy conservation tips, income tax assistance, leveraging additional resources.
New Hampshire
2017
4
Provide self-sufficiency education to all households with fast-tracked crisis applications within a program year to encourage applicants to apply for benefits in a timely manner in order to avoid life-threatening situations and special delivery charges, which deplete the household's benefit. Households receive information on the application process, managing resources, communication with vendors and referrals to other resources.
Ohio
2017
1
Provides funding to The Breathing Association, a Local Energy Assistance Provider. In addition to providing HEAP intake services, The Breathing Association operates a health care clinic and a mobile medical van serving low-income, HEAP-eligible individuals. The Breathing Association provides educational materials to the HEAP customers that are receiving medical care. Prior to being evaluated by a Nurse Practitioner, the customer is provided a pretest, focusing on residential energy conservation questions. After the pretest is taken, the customer is required to watch a 7 minute video about residential energy conservation. After the customer has been seen by the Nurse Practitioner, they are given a post-test on energy savings and provided additional education materials such as brochures that highlight energy residential savings techniques.
Oregon
2017
5
Assurance 16 funds are used to integrate existing energy programs and enhance services for households with complex needs. Outcomes include reduced energy burden, improved payment patterns, energy conservation, and improved self-sufficiency. Sub-grantees consider community need and local program design when determining how to utilize Assurance 16 funding. Allowable uses include, but are not limited to needs assessments, budget planning, arrearage management, energy education, energy saving incentives, and supplemental bill payment. All sub-grantees are required to include a description of how they will use Assurance 16 funding within their workplan application. At a minimum this includes eligibility criteria, benefit determination, description of services, and how these funds will be integrated within the overall LIHEAP program.
Rhode Island
2017
1
Assigns Assurance 16 based on proposals from the agencies. Services provided includes; energy assessments, counseling(budget and energy usage), assistance with fuel vendors for a better rate, as well as referals to other assistance, etc.
South Dakota
2017
2
The SD Office of Energy Assistance works in conjunction with other State agencies such as South Dakota Housing and Development Authority, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, Adult Services and Aging, and other Social Services programs to ensure that literature and applications are made available. The Office of Energy Assistance also posts information on the website and participates in public health fairs and informational meetings sponsored by energy suppliers to help promote energy conservation. On the SD Office of Energy Assistance website there is a link that clients can click to view money and energy savings tips. Energy Saving tips brochures were also included in every pre-printed application that was mailed to households that received energy assistance the previous winter. Clients who continue to have difficulties managing their money, are refered to other support services available to them such as consumer credit counseling or debt relief counseling.
Tennessee
2017
2
Refer LIHEAP clients with an interest in Weatherization to the WAP. Some agencies offer specific classes to clients to help reduce the energy burden. Energy saver flyers are provided to clients and one-on-one counseling takes place.
Vermont
2017
1
Vermont supports four firewood programs around the state that serve LIHEAP recipients who utilize firewood as their renewable home heating fuels.
Washington
2017
3.75
Local agencies have the option to provide conservation education to applicants. This can occur during the intake process, through a group work shop, or an in home visit. Local agencies provide their conservation plan in their annual application to provide LIHEAP services which Commerce approves. Conservation education services are provided equitably and may include:
- Energy conservation education classes
- Informational videos
- Handouts/flyers
- Energy conservation kits
- Review and education of household's energy usage and costs
- Hands on conservation exhibits
- In-home visits in conjunction with weatherization home energy
- efficiency assessments
West Virginia
2017
1
Provide heating tips for those that apply for the program. Also provide a blanket kit that has heat saving tips and wool weather stripping for households that have children age 5 and under or elderly and disabled.
Wyoming
2017
1
Some of these funds are used to purchase energy conservation educational materials. These materials are distributed by our Weatherization agencies to households receiving weatherization assistance, as well as by our LIEAP contractor. We believe that behaviors impact energy usage and as we weatherize the home to make it more energy efficient, educating the household members about energy conservation as well as energy efficiency helps them be more conservative energy consumers overall. Also distribute educational materials at application fairs and other public venues where LIEAP applicants/clients are likely to show up. Also purchase a small number of low-cost/no-cost energy efficiency kits which are loaded with energy conservation educational materials for distribution to selected priority or high need households at the end of the LIEAP season.