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LIHEAP Fact Sheet

Published: September 17, 2014
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
About, Fact Sheet


To assist low income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs.

Block Grant: Congress established the formula for distributing funds based primarily on each State's weather, fuel prices, and low income population.  Home energy is defined as a source of heating or cooling in residential dwellings. Grantees can use funds for heating and/or cooling costs as well as up to 15% of their funding for weatherization assistance.

Leveraging Incentive Program: The law authorizes supplemental LIHEAP funding for grantees that used non-federal resources with their programs in the prior year.

Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Program (REACH): The law authorizes supplemental LIHEAP funding for grantees to receive competitive grants for implementation through local community-based agencies of innovative plans to help LIHEAP eligible households reduce their energy vulnerability.

Emergency Contingency Funds: The President may release these funds when appropriated to assist with the home energy needs arising from an emergency situation.  They may be allocated to one or more grantees, or to all grantees, based on criteria appropriate to the emergency, usually related to extreme weather conditions or energy price increases and funding based on the degree to which States are impacted.

Legislative Authority:            
Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Public Law 97-35), as amended.

In FY 2015, Block Grant: $3.36 billion, Emergency Contingency: $0
In FY 2014, Block Grant: $3.4 billion, Emergency Contingency: $0

Eligible Applicants:                
All 50 States, the District of Columbia, 5 territories, and about 153 tribes and tribal organizations receive LIHEAP grants each year.  State and federally recognized tribes (including Alaska native villages) may apply for direct LIHEAP funding.

Target Population:                 
The federal income eligibility range within which grantees may provide assistance is based on a household's income and must not exceed the greater of 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) or 60 percent of the State median income.  Grantees may not set income eligibility standards below 110 percent of FPL.

Grantees must provide crisis assistance.  They have the option to provide home cooling, weatherization and/or energy-related minor home repairs. 

Type of Grant:                         
Block Grant

Program Requirements:        
State applications for funds are due annually by September 1. 

Program Highlights:               

Program Contact:                   
Division of Energy Assistance, OCS