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LIHEAP IM 2010-4 Allocations from the Energy Emergency Contingency Fund

Published: March 17, 2010
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION ISSUED BY THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN LIHEAP INFORMATION MEMORANDUM TRANSMITTAL NO. LIHEAP-IM-2010-4, DATED 3/17/10

 

TO: LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) GRANTEES AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

SUBJECT: LIHEAP Allocations from the FY 2010 Energy Emergency Contingency Fund - $490 MILLION DISTRIBUTION ON JANUARY 20, 2010

RELATED REFERENCES: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law (P.L.) 111-117); the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-35), as amended

PURPOSE: To provide grantees with information on the distribution of LIHEAP emergency contingency funds that took place on January 20, 2010. These funds were distributed to LIHEAP grantees to help meet the additional needs of eligible households that resulted from unusually cold weather and the continuing effects of the economic downturn.

BACKGROUND: The Human Services Amendments of 1994 (P.L. 103-252) amended Section 2602(e) of the LIHEAP statute to provide for a permanent authorization of an emergency contingency fund. Under this provision, up to $600,000,000 may be made available each fiscal year, in addition to other funds that may be appropriated, "to meet the additional home energy assistance needs of one or more States arising from a natural disaster or other emergency." Funds appropriated under this section are considered to be emergency requirements under the terms of Section 251(b)(2)(D) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 and are to be made available only after the President submits a formal budget request to the Congress for all or a part of the funds appropriated under this section, provided that the request designates the amount requested as such an emergency requirement.

Section 2604(e) of the LIHEAP statute, as amended in 1994 by P.L. 103-252, allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to allocate any funds made available under Section 2602(e) to one or more grantees, taking into account the extent to which the grantee was affected by the emergency or disaster, the availability of other resources to the grantees under LIHEAP or any other program, and such other factors that are deemed relevant. See Attachment 1 for more details.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117), which was signed by the President on December 16, 2010, included an appropriation of $590,328,000 for LIHEAP emergency contingency purposes. P.L. 111-117 also provided that these funds were appropriated "for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010." See Attachment 2 for more details.

CONTENT: On January 20, 2010, the Secretary of Health and Human Services released $490,000,000 to all States, Territories and Indian tribes/tribal organizations. The funds were released to all LIHEAP grantees because of the unusually cold weather during the late fall and winter and the continuing effects of the economic downturn.

The $490 million were allocated to all grantees under the following method: $450 million to all States based on their respective shares of their FY 2010 regular block grant allocations weighted by their average unemployment rates from September 2009 through November 2009; and to all Territories based on their respective shares of their FY 2010 regular block grant allocations.

$40 million to the 14 States whose heating degree-days (HDDs) from November 1, 2009 through January 9, 2010 exceeded their 30-year norms by more than five percent. These States received shares of the $40 million on the basis of their HDDs from November 1, 2009 through January 9, 2010 weighted by their numbers of households below 125 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines weighted by their average unemployment rates from September 2009 through November 2009.

All Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations that receive direct LIHEAP funding from the Department of Health and Human Services received a share of the $490 million. Each Tribe and Tribal organization received an allocation that was based on the same share they received under the regular LIHEAP block grant allocation.

The allocations to all the States, Territories and Indian Tribes/Tribal organizations are shown in Attachment 3.

Grantees may use these contingency funds for any purpose authorized under LIHEAP, including heating assistance, crisis assistance, weatherization, administrative costs, and carryover, subject to normal LIHEAP restrictions. The contingency funds should be added to the regular FY 2010 block grant allocation to determine limits on weatherization, administration and planning costs, and Assurance 16 activities. However, grantees must obligate at least 90 percent of the total of these emergency contingency funds and the regular block grant funds by September 30, 2010.

With the release of $490 million, $100,328,000 in emergency contingency funds remains available for potential heating or cooling crises. All of these funds are available through September 30, 2010.

ATTACHMENTS: (1) A copy of relevant portions of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-35), as amended

(2) A copy of the relevant portions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117)

(3) Distribution of $490 million in FY 2010 LIHEAP energy emergency contingency funds to States, Territories and Indian Tribes/Tribal organizations; and the formula for allocating these funds

________________/s___________
Nick St. Angelo
Director
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services

 

                                                                                                            Attachment 1

Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, P.L. 97-35 LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1981 as amended

SHORT TITLE

Section 2601. This title may be cited as the "Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981".

HOME ENERGY GRANTS AUTHORIZED

Section 2602.

(e) There is authorized to be appropriated in each fiscal year for payments under this title, in addition to amounts appropriated for distribution to all the States in accordance with section 2604 (other than subsection ( e) of such section), $600,000,000 to meet the additional home energy assistance needs of one or more States arising from a natural disaster or other emergency. Funds appropriated pursuant to this subsection are hereby designated to be emergency requirements pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, except that such funds shall be made available only after the submission to Congress of a formal budget request by the President (for all or a part of the appropriation pursuant to this subsection) that includes a designation of the amount requested as an emergency requirement as defined in such Act.

DEFINITIONS

Section 2603. As used in this title:

(1) The term "emergency" means- (A) a natural disaster; (B) a significant home energy supply shortage or disruption; (C) a significant increase in the cost of home energy, as determined by the Secretary; (D) a significant increase in home energy disconnections reported by a utility, a State regulatory agency, or another agency with necessary data; (E) a significant increase in participation in a public benefit program such as the food stamp program carried out under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), the national program to provide supplemental security income carried out under title XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) or the State temporary assistance for needy families program carried out under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as determined by the head of the appropriate Federal agency; (F) a significant increase in unemployment, layoffs, or the number of households with an individual applying for unemployment benefits, as determined by the Secretary of Labor; or (G) an event meeting such criteria as the Secretary, in the discretion of the Secretary, may determine to be appropriate.

(7) The term "natural disaster" means a weather event (relating to cold or hot weather), flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or ice storm, or an event meeting such other criteria as the Secretary, in the discretion of the Secretary, may determine to be appropriate.

(9) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Section 2604.

(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (d), the Secretary may allot amounts appropriated pursuant to section 2602(e) to one or more than one State. In determining whether to make such an allotment to a State, the Secretary shall take into account the extent to which the State was affected by the natural disaster or other emergency involved, the availability to the State of other resources under the program carried out under this title or any other program, and such other factors as the Secretary may find to be relevant. Not later than 30 days after making the determination, but prior to releasing an allotted amount to a State, the Secretary shall notify Congress of the allotments made pursuant to this subsection.

                                                                                                          Attachment 2

H.R.3288 (P.L. 111-117) Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF APPROPRIATIONS.

The following sums in this Act are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010.

DIVISION D--DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010 TITLE II DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families low income home energy assistance

For making payments under subsections (b), (d), and (e) of section 2602 of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, $5,100,000,000, of which $4,509,672,000 shall be for payments under subsections (b) and (d) of such section; and of which $590,328,000 shall be for payments under subsection (e) of such section, to be made notwithstanding the designation requirements of such subsection: Provided, That all but $839,792,000 of the amount provided in this Act for subsections (b) and (d) shall be allocated as though the total appropriation for such payments for fiscal year 2010 was less than $1,975,000,000: Provided further, That notwithstanding section 2605(b)(2)(B)(ii) of such Act, a State may use any amount of an allotment from prior appropriations Acts that is available to that State for providing assistance in fiscal year 2010, and any allotment from funds appropriated in this Act or any other appropriations Act for fiscal year 2010, to provide assistance to households whose income does not exceed 75 percent of the State median income.