May 22, 2020 – Resources on low-income energy burden have recently been released by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The resources are for those launching or engaging in programs intended to address low-income energy issues.
May 11, 2020 – $900 million in supplemental funding has been released to LIHEAP grantees to help, “prevent, prepare for, or respond to” home energy needs surrounding the national emergency created by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). These funds have been appropriated by congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law March 27, 2020.
May 8, 2020 – Many utilities across the country are making changes to their program operations to accommodate low-income households during the pandemic. One common change among them are the changes to the moratoriums; however, utilities such as such as California’s San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) are changing additional aspects of their program operations to further assist low-income households during this time.
May 4, 2020 – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is issuing a supplemental, emergency payment to Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) participants and heating source vendors. The supplemental payment is to offset bulk fuel expenses from the current program year.
April 27, 2020 – Ohio has made changes to their application process for those seeking energy assistance. Applicants are no longer required to visit their local Energy Assistance Office to apply. They can now request an application via mail or apply online. Those who do not have access to the internet have the option to complete their application over the phone.
April 16, 2020 – LIHEAP agencies across the country are making necessary changes to their typical operations to accommodate the circumstances due to the national COVID-19 pandemic. Resources are available to customers so they can stay informed on program changes in their area and not miss opportunities for assistance. Iowa, for example, has announced an application extension deadline, and offers online applications. Iowa residents now have until May 31 to apply.
April 13, 2020 – As energy companies around the country initiate disconnection moratoriums during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the utilities such as Entergy Texas, will be suspending the disconnection of utilities until further notice. The policy to suspend the disconnections was originally set to expire in 30 days.
Energy companies will work with customers to make payment arrangements and encourage those who are able to pay on their accounts to do so. Allie Payne, spokesperson for Entergy Texas, says customers should not delay in requesting assistance with their energy bills.
April 3, 2020 – The Office of Community Services (OCS) released Dear Colleague Letters providing guidance surrounding issues and conditions associated with the circumstances in result of COVID-19. This guidance follows the release of a $900 stimulus package for LIHEAP on March 25, 2020.
March 25, 2020 – On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the Senate approved a $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. As a result of that stimulus package, LIHEAP will be seeing a historic $900 million supplemental FY 2020 allocation. These additional funds will be released to all grantees; including States, Territories and Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations (Tribes) in upcoming weeks to help eligible low-income households afford their energy costs and avoid making cutbacks on other household essentials as a result of hardship caused by the virus.