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State and Territories' 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
2019
1
Funds are used for activities that encourage and reduce their home energy needs such as: 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.
American Samoa
2019
5
Some of the funds are used to produce and/order energy conservation material to give out during outreach, public hearings, client intake, etc.
Arizona
2019
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
2019
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
2019
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 preventive, holistic and long-term solutions to energy needs.
Local Service Providers maintain a source document that substantiates that the client was provided these services. The document is kept on file by the contractor and is reviewed during routine program evaluation visits made by CSD staff.
Connecticut
2019
1.14
Assurance 16 funds play a significant role in the ability of community action agencies to 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, assitance with arrearage reduction, non-CEAP funded fuel banks, financial education, energy conservation and vendor mediation.
District of Columbia
2019
2
Up to two (2) percent of awarded funds are used to conduct educational activities to educate participants on how to identify energy waste, increase energy efficiency, and to understand and read their utility bills. These activities are conducted to assist clients in reducing their energy costs. For LIHEAP weatherization cases, DOEE's energy efficiency staff explains his findings to the LIHEAP household members.
Delaware
2019
1.65
DHSS uses LIHEAP funds to provide several Assurance 16 services to eligible clients, including materials with energy education. Assurance 16 is also utilitzed for in-kind purchases like blankets and fans.
Florida
2019
0.5
The Department budgets 0.5 percent of its LIHEAP funds for Assurance 16 activities, as well as provides a line item specifically for Outreach to eligible households.
Georgia
2019
0.5
Georgia LIHEAP will set aside .50% of the regular LIHEAP funds in FFY 2018 for Assurance 16 services to eligible households. In an effort to address the issues related to lack of heating, choices of unsafe means of heating, cooking and attending to personal needs, the following procedures are in place to perform the following types of activities under Assurance 16:

  • Mass outreach educational materials, which inform clients about energy conservation and reduction in energy cost, were designed and given to or mailed out to customers, especially
    those in the most vulnerable groups.
  • Mass outreach blanket kits and hat, scarf and glove combination sets.
  • 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
2019
3
Services provided to encourage and enable households to reduce their home energy consumption include the following:

  • Include information on level 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 the Weatherization Assistance Program;
  • Provide centralized energy education classes to outreach sites, target households of a specific utility to increase impact;
  • Provide a supplemental payment on behalf of the participant to the home energy vendor to incentivize participation in formal energy education;
  • Referral to available utility-funded energy conservation programs/services;
  • Advocacy on behalf of households with home energy vendor to prevent disconnection; and
  • Incentive benefits to households for attendance at energy education classes.
Illinois
2019
3
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
2019
5
Indiana uses LIHEAP funds to conduct Family Development and Energy Education. Family development provides low-income households with short-term and long-term 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. EAP clients may also receive energy education which focuses mainly on energy conservation techniques. During the 2017-2018 LIHEAP program year, some LSPs gave pre-test and post-tests to households to determine how the client's energy education knowledge changed after receiving energy education.
Iowa
2019
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
2019
0.1
Every Community Action Agency is given the opportunity to provide counseling to help reduce the households' energy bills. The agencies that do 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. The following are examples from the three agencies that provided services during the past LIHEAP season: (1) Northern KY CAA offered Financial Literacy and Home Ownership Classes, Homebuyer Education classes, workshops, one-on-one counseling by certified Financial Literacy and HUD counseling staff, basic Budget and Credit counseling and energy saving tip sheets. (2) Lexington Fayette CAC offered 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? What temperature do you set thermostat during the day? Do you change your 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. (3) Louisville Metro CAA partnered with a utility company and other organizations to connect clients with energy conservation programs, bill management, workshops, and to distributes weatherization materials. Louisville Metro CAA also completed outreach i.e. radio, TV announcements, printed energy tips and information.
Louisiana
2019
2.5
Energy education is provided to eligible and ineligible households. Local agencies are required to develop active, participatory energy conservation education activities. They are also encouraged to use educational activities that can be carried out while the applicant is waiting for intake. Services can include counseling, assistance with negotiations with energy vendors, outreach, referrals to the Weatherization Assistance Program, and energy efficiency education materials.
Maine
2019
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. Assurance 16 funds may only be used to fund activities that encourage and enable eligible households to reduce their home energy needs and thereby the need for energy assistance. Only LIHEAP eligible households may receive Assurance 16 services. The services being funded by Assurance 16 must be energy related and may include family development case management and education activities. Subgrantees are required to have proper fiscal controls to ensure the LIHEAP funds are expended proportional to the overall funding sources using proper cost allocation methodology. There must be proper documentation of participation and a methodology to measure outcomes from the Assurance 16 activities.
Maryland
2019
3
Maryland will use Assurance 16 funds to provide risk assessments, counseling, energy reduction education/awareness services, and assistance with energy suppliers/vendors aimed at enabling households with seniors, disabled, and medically fragile individuals to achieve a greater degree of energy self-sufficiency, and financial education.
Massachusetts
2019
3
In accordance with LIHEAP regulations and pending availability of funds, LAAs provide such services such as: needs assessment, budget counseling, energy education/awareness and vendor relations as part of the ongoing servicing of eligible households. These services, under Assurance 16 of the LIHEAP statute, are directed towards households that may be in financial/energy crisis requiring individual attention beyond the standard course of action.
DHCD encourages working with utilities on issues impacting users, particularly elders, expanding education, awareness efforts, and referrals. DHCD monitors Assurance 16 activities conducted by LAAs through annual contracting and monitoring process to ensure compliance with funding requirements.
Michigan
2019
5
Assurance 16 funding will be allocated to the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) so that households applying for crisis assistance can receive Assurance 16 services to assist with the reduction of energy costs and their need for assistance. Michigan Public Act of 2012 states, "Energy assistance must include services that will enable participants to become or move toward becoming self-sufficient, including assisting participants in paying their energy bills on time, assisting participants in budgeting for and contributing to their ability to provide for energy expenses, and assisting participants in utilizing energy services to optimize on energy efficiency." Allowable self-sufficiency expenditures are included in theMEAP manual and include needs assessment, budgeting assistance, energy education, and providing assistance to households to enroll in affordable payment plans offered by their energy provider(s). Households who receive weatherization services may also receive Assurance 16 services, as part of the WAP assistance.
Minnesota
2019
5
Minnesota uses LIHEAP funds to provide services that encourage and enable households to reduce their home energy needs and thereby the need for energy assistance. The supported activities are referred to as Assurance 16 (A16). 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
2019
5
LIHEAP funds are used to conduct consumer education classes, vendor-sponsored workshops, and low-cost, no cost weatherization measures to eligible clients.
Montana
2019
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
2019
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.
North Dakota
2019
4
The department contracts with Community Options to provide outreach services with a focus on elderly and disabled people. Community Options Specialists participates in local events at Senior Centers, businesses and organizations to give marketing presentations for LIHEAP and provide information and education about the program by placing flyers in local communities statewide. They also attend various conferences around the state and conduct outreach activities via booth presentations. In addition, they provide applications to interested clients, assit clients with completing applications and obtaining the required verifications, assist counties in obtaining necessary verifications for eligibility, and conduct home visits to home-bound individuals to assist with the application process. All activities are coordinated with county social service office and the community action agencies to ensure that there is no duplication of services.
Ohio
2019
1
Assurance 16, the ODSA will provide a maximum of 5% of the total annual State of Ohio LIHEAP allocation to be used to encourage and enabled households to reduce their home energy needs. Funding will be made available annually through a request for proposal process. Applications will be received and reviewed on a first come first serve basis during the open application period. The request for proposal will outline the following:
Requested funding amount, uses and any leveraged resources
Description of the project and how the project will reduce the household's energy burden Anticipated outcomes Methodologies for tracking outcomes If the grantee is awarded funds they will be required to report on the number of households served and the impact on those households (including pre and post testing, customer survey responses etc.).
An example of how LIHEAP funds have been provided through Assurance 16 is 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 pre-test, focusing on residential energy conservation questions. After the pre-test is taken, the customer is required to watch a seven-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 educational materials such as brochures that highlight energy residential savings techniques.
Oregon
2019
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
2019
.5
Rhode Island allocates 2% of available funds to Assurance 16 activities. R.I. 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 Carolina
2019
5
The OEO will use Assurance 16 funds to provide service-incentives that encourage and enable households to reduce their home energy needs and thereby the need for energy assistance. Subgrantee's will submit a proposal for funds that clearly describe the services, incentives and/or activities; expected impact; direct benefits, incentives and services provided to participants/households. OEO will then report to the Secretary concerning the impact of such activities on the number of households served, and the level of incentives provided to Assurance 16 participants. As a condition of funding, eligible entities must be able to report how many households participated in the Assurance 16 program; how many households received Assurance 16 incentives; measure the impact after households received Assurance 16 services; and when applicable, compare LIHEAP services/benefits provided to participants in the previous Program Year.
South Dakota
2019
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 referred to other support services available to them such as consumer credit counseling or debt relief counseling.
Tennessee
2019
2
We refer LIHEAP clients with an interest in Weatherization to the WAP. Some agencies offer specific classes to clients to help reduce the energy burden, but we do not collect their attendance data. Energy saver flyers are provided to clients and one on one counseling takes place. Sub-grantees conduct Assurance 16 activities at their local agency. Examples are as follows:
Provide energy conservation education in the form of Calendars, pamphlets and fact sheets at the time of application intake. This material will encourage energy conservation and provide the Low Income Home Energy Assistance client with the knowledge to reduce their home energy cost.
Provide energy saving videos in lobby while waiting to be assisted and given energy guides. One on one measures will be spoken about to the beneficiary.
A survey of this year's beneficiaries to measure the effectiveness of last years measures.
Partner with Green Spaces (local energy efficiency educator) to reduce energy usage. Green Spaces will conduct monthly workshops to those interested in reducing energy costs in their homes.
Utah
2019
2
We will be using Assurance 16 funds for SMART thermostats distibuted by WX. We will develop and deliver client ed on use and benefits. Once we negotiate the final agreement with NEST we will work that out. I am pretty sure they have most of this already done in house and we can just use their stuff.
Washington
2019
3.75
Each local agency has 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. Any conservation education services provided are done so equitably to all households served. Conservation education services include but are not limited to: energy conservation educatin 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
2019
3
We plan to provide energy kits for applicants through our Community Action Agencies when clients apply for the Emergency Repair and Replacement program or for the Weatherization program. We will have the Community Action Agencies track which clients receive an energy kit so we can possibly provide them with a survey to get the results of how their energy use has changed since using the kit.
Wyoming
2019
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. We also distribute our educational materials at application fairs and other public venues where LIEAP applicants/clients are likely to patron. We are also developing household budgeting/financial literacy training workshops for clients who demonstrate a pattern of regular risk for heating and power disconnects via a collaborative partnership with TANF and the Department of Workforce Services.

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