State Energy Assistance Programs Begin Closing Down Due To Delays In The Release Of Federal Funds

Contact: Mark Wolfe
Phone: 202-237-5199 / 202-320-9046 (cell)
Date: December 16, 2003

As a result of delays in the release of federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds, states across the country are shutting down their programs. A survey released today by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA), representing the state directors of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), found that 16 states and the District of Columbia have now closed their programs or will be closing their programs in the next two to three weeks:

The following 8 states and the District of Columbia have run out of funds:

District of Columbia, Delaware, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont and West Virginia.
The following 8 states that will close their programs in the next two to three weeks:

Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin
According to Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of NEADA, the Continuing Resolution provides the Administration with sufficient authority to release additional LIHEAP funds. While the $844 million that has already been released has allowed states to begin their programs, for many the amount is not sufficient to continue program operations. Unless additional monies are released shortly, more and more states will close down their programs creating unnecessary hardships for millions of low-income families.

Background: In FY 2003, LIHEAP provided close to $2 billion in heating and cooling assistance to more than 4.5 million households. Under the conference agreement, states will receive about $1.788 billion, close to $200 million less than they received in FY 2003. The agreement also included $100 million in emergency funds. Tables listing state-by-state allocations are listed on the NEADA website – www.neada.org.