LIHEAP DCL Release of Research Brief on Energy Assistance Funding Approaches

Publication Date: April 22, 2014


Dear Colleague Letter

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of Energy Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447


                                                                                      Date:  April 22, 2014


SUBJECT:   Release of Research Brief on Energy Assistance Funding Approaches

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has released a research brief on state energy assistance funding approaches.

.PDF and HTML versions of the brief are available on the ASPE web site Visit disclaimer page .  Below is an excerpt from the research brief, to give you a sense of its content.

States rely on a variety of funding sources to help low-income residents pay their utility bills and reduce home energy costs.  The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the chief source of federal low-income energy assistance. However, a variety of other federal, state and local programs and resources also play key roles in helping vulnerable Americans heat, cool and weatherize their homes. 

As a block grant program that is not an entitlement, LIHEAP serves only a small proportion of those eligible for benefits, and funding for the program has fluctuated considerably over the past several years.  The relatively limited reach of the program compared to overall need is an incentive for states to identify and use nonfederal funding sources.  While the assistance provided from these other sources is key, little is known about how individual states utilize these various funding streams to provide energy assistance.  This research brief presents findings from a qualitative study of energy assistance funding sources and strategies in six purposively selected states — California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.  It identifies promising practices that other states may want to consider as they confront limited federal energy assistance funding and that may merit further study.

OCS staff worked closely with ASPE on the development of this research brief.  We hope that you find the information presented in the brief useful to your own thinking about how LIHEAP can be coordinated and leveraged with other federal and non-federal resources to offer the most comprehensive energy assistance services possible to low-income households.


/s/                                                       /s/
Lauren Christopher                           Jeannie L. Chaffin
Director                                             Director
Division of Energy Assistance          Office of Community Services

Last Reviewed Date: