The Department of Health and Human Services made grant awards totaling $1,155,000 to three states under the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH). This is the “second round” of REACH grants in FY 2010.
All states received $350,000 plus $35,000 for their Energy Efficiency Education Services (EEES) Plans.
The State of New Mexico will partner with HELP-New Mexico, Inc., a community based organization to provide New Mexicans living in rural areas with heating assistance for their homes as well as providing energy efficiency education on alternative heating sources. Many low-income families live in rural areas in New Mexico and utilize alternative heating sources. The State of New Mexico will educate these families through alternative energy education pamphlets, safety inspections and repairs. They will participate in the propane consumer advocacy movement in New Mexico as well as produce and distribute pamphlets specifically providing information concerning the health and safety hazards associated with the use of an alternative heating source.
The State of Ohio will partner with The Breathing Association, an organization that uses a unique HEAP medical model to improve access to care by using customer interest in HEAP as a gateway to health services. This model targets the medically vulnerable low-income energy consumer and crosses boundaries and addresses barriers that may not otherwise be addressed utilizing regular LIHEAP funding. The State of Ohio will combine their home energy assistance program (HEAP), percentage of income payment plus program (PIPP Plus) along with energy efficiency education and education advocates to provide home visits to vulnerable populations. They will also coordinate with other programs to provide medical care, prescription assistance, health education, and energy saving medical devices.
The State of Rhode Island will identify and serve households with the highest risk of energy-related health and safety vulnerability. LIHEAP eligible households will be selected from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Programs and from the Road Home program that prevents evictions or foreclosures. Health and safety risks that are associated with energy burden will be assessed for these households. A comprehensive social services approach will be used to provide weatherization services and electric appliance management and to steer clients toward economic and social self sufficiency.