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Maine to Repurpose $3.8 Million from Fuel Purchase Budget to Weatherization

November 6, 2015—Maine was granted permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to raise the amount of LIHEAP funding that goes toward their weatherization program from 15 percent to 25 percent this week. According to LIHEAP regulations, LIHEAP grantees can allocate up to 15 percent of their funds toward weatherization. However, grantees can submit a waiver request to HHS, and, if approved, can increase that amount to 25 percent.

Utilities Propose Higher Fixed Charges to Make Up for Lost Revenue Due to Conservation Efforts

October 23, 2015—Several utilities nationwide have been proposing higher fixed charges for customers, up to double-digit percentage increases, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. This was the case in Missouri and Kansas where the fixed rate was proposed to rise from $9.00 and $10.71 respectively, to $25.00 and $27.00 respectively.

Minnesota Kicks Off Winter Disconnect Protection Season

October 16, 2015—Minnesota began its "Cold Weather Rule" ( Minnesota Statute 216B.097 ) this week. According to the rule, between the dates of October 15 and April 15, utilities are not allow to disconnect the utility service of any residential customer whose primary heating source would be affected by the cutoff. They must also reconnect any qualifying customers who already have been cut off.

Congress Passes Short-Term Measure, OCS Releases Reallotment Funds

October 2, 2015—Congress avoided a government shutdown with the approval of a short-term measure that will fund government operations through December 11, 2015. The continuing resolution maintains the existing spending cap put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2013. This federal funding will continue until the mid-December deadline or until Congress approves a budget for Fiscal Year 2016. Those involved with LIHEAP are still trying to determine what all of this means for programs that are quickly approaching their heating seasons.

NY Senior Center to Benefit from Single Stop Program

September 25, 2015 — In mid-September, the Peter Cardella Senior Citizen Center in Queens announced that its residents can now sign up for multiple services, including LIHEAP, through the Single Stop Program.

The Single Stop Program will have staff visiting the Senior Center once a week to screen seniors for their eligibility for various service programs. The staffers will help seniors apply for the services and provide follow-up consults.

PA PUC Eliminates Utility’s Assistance Program Enrollment Limits

September 11, 2015—The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously this week to remove an enrollment ceiling on the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) of UGI Utilities, Inc. Low-income customers who enroll in the CAP make monthly payments to the utility based on household size and total gross income. This program helps UGI fulfill the PUC's requirement that all regulated natural gas and electric utility companies offer programs and protections to help low-income customers.


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