LIHEAP AT-2021-01 Reinstatement without Change of the FY 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

Publication Date: January 5, 2021

 

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Action Transmittal

 

AT#:            LIHEAP-AT-2021-01

DATE:         December 31, 2020

TO:              LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) STATE GRANTEES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

SUBJECT:  Reinstatement without Change of the FY 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) LIHEAP Administrative Data Matching— Project Announcement and Data Request

ATTACHMENT(S):  None


RELATED REFERENCES:

Sections 2605(b)(14), 2610(b), and 2610(a)(6) of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended.

PURPOSE:

To request that states furnish FY 2020 and FY 2021 LIHEAP household-level data for matching LIHEAP recipients with the 2020 RECS respondent households. This data collection effort has been reinstated by the Office of Management and Budget, under OMB Control No. 0970-0486, after the previous Information Collection Request expired September 30, 2019.

BACKGROUND:

Since FY 1982, the Office of Community Services (OCS) has relied upon data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducts this survey to provide periodic national and regional data on residential energy use in the United States. We use RECS data to furnish Congress and the Administration with Important national and regional descriptive data on the energy needs of low-income households.

The last RECS (the 2015 RECS) was conducted in 2016. At that time, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded a set of supplemental LIHEAP questions and a post-survey administrative records matching effort to identify RECS respondents that were LIHEAP recipients. This effort was developed and implemented with the cooperation of LIHEAP state grantees. The RECS contractor used administrative household data from state LIHEAP grantees to determine which RECS households participated in LIHEAP and what type and amount of benefits they received. As a result of this effort, ACF was able to examine information and develop statistics from RECS that were specific to the LIHEAP recipient population, including information related to benefits targeting, energy usage, and energy insecurity.

ACF is funding a similar effort for the 2020 RECS to support analysis of LIHEAP data for the annual Report to Congress and the annual LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook.

Data is needed on regular and crisis fuel assistance benefits for FY 2020 and FY 2021. We seek data for both years to ensure that it covers the entire period covered by the 2020 RECS. Please note that this is the same data needed to generate programmatic summary statistics for your state’s annual LIHEAP Household Report Form and the LIHEAP Performance Data Form. Your application client waiver language allows you to share information with ACF and its contractors. For the prior effort, a large majority of the states that were included in that year’s RECS provided data.

ACF has contracted with the Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE) to manage this project. APPRISE staff will contact you in the next few weeks regarding this data collection effort. The confidentiality of client data will be strictly protected as part of the project. APPRISE and its predecessors have been collecting state LIHEAP data since 2001. During this time, due to maintaining high security standards, no data breech has ever occurred.

Your cooperation in this effort is greatly appreciated. Contact Peter Edelman, Program Analyst at peter.edelman@acf.hhs.gov or (202) 401-5292 if you have any questions, concerns, or problems in providing the data.

THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT OF 1995 (Public Law 104-13) Statement:

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 24 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection of information.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

ACTION:

ACF’s contractor, APPRISE, will ask your state to participate in the extension of the FY 2015 RECS LIHEAP Administrative Data Matching to FY 2020 project through the procedures discussed below.

Step 1:

Provide ACF’s contractor, APPRISE, a file of LIHEAP households that received fuel assistance in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for one of the following data populations:

  1. All FY 2020 and FY 2021 LIHEAP recipients for your entire state/service area;
  1. All FY 2020 and FY 2021 LIHEAP recipients only in the counties from your state that are part of the RECS sample (a list will be provided separately); or
  1. All FY 2020 and FY 2021 LIHEAP recipients only in the ZIP codes from your state that are part of the RECS sample (a list will be provided separately).

Step 2:

Provide ACF’s contractor, APPRISE, the data needed to facilitate the 2020 RECS LIHEAP Supplement through one of the following two steps.

Option A: One-Step Approach

Provide ACF’s contractor, APPRISE, a file with all of the required data items noted below, and as many of the optional data items as you have available, for all of your FY 2020  and FY 2021 LIHEAP recipient households at whatever level you choose (see options A, B, and C, above).

Option B: Two-Step Approach

Provide ACF’s contractor, APPRISE, a file of LIHEAP households that provides only the name and address (including ZIP code) of all FY 2020 and FY 2021 LIHEAP recipients at whatever level you choose (see options A, B, and C, above).

Later, you will also provide ACF’s contractor, APPRISE, a second file that lists a subset of these LIHEAP recipients who completed a RECS interview. That second file must include all of the required data items noted below, and as many of the optional data items as you have available, for those households.

Required Data Items:

  • Name;
  • Address (must include ZIP code);
  • Gross Income;
  • Household Size;
  • Household or Client ID;
  • Heating assistance awarded ;
  • Amount of heating assistance;
  • Date of heating assistance;
  • Cooling assistance awarded;
  • Amount of cooling assistance;
  • Date of cooling assistance;
  • Crisis assistance awarded;
  • Amount of crisis assistance;
  • Date of crisis assistance;
  • Other assistance awarded;
  • Amount of other assistance;
  • Date of other assistance;
  • Presence of children 5 or younger;
  • Presence of adult 60 or older; and
  • Presence of disabled person.

Optional Data Items:

The following data will enrich the analyses ACF's contractor, APPRISE, will conduct using the RECS data. Please furnish the following data if they are available in your database(s):

  • Tenancy (i.e., own or rent);
  • Type(s) of fuel used; or
  • Heat included in rent.

Data Format:

Provide the data noted above in one of the following acceptable formats:

  • Microsoft Excel;
  • Microsoft Access;
  • SAS; or
  • STATA

If you are unable to submit data in one of these four formats, you must provide a written explanation of why submission in a different format is necessary and the format you intend to use. OCS will then determine if we have the ability to accept the data in the suggested format.

Thank you for your attention and OCS looks forward to continuing to provide high quality services to OCS grantees.

/s/

Lauren Christopher
Director, Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services

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