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LIHEAP AT 2010-7 State Household Administrative Data FY 2010

Published: June 18, 2010
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Action Transmittal

AT-2010-7, DATED 6/18/10


                                    TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

SUBJECT:       State FY 2010 LIHEAP Household Administrative Data Matching

REFERENCES:    Sections 2605(b)(14) and 2610(b) 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 maintain FY 2010 LIHEAP recipiency household data for matching with the 2009 RECS household respondent households.


BACKGROUND:    Since FY 1982, our office has relied upon data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS).  The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducts this survey every four years to provide 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 was conducted in 2005.  At that time, ACF funded the 2005 RECS LIHEAP supplemental sample and a set of LIHEAP questions that were added to the RECS.  The 2005 RECS LIHEAP supplemental sample was developed and implemented through the cooperation of LIHEAP State agencies. The RECS contractor used administrative household data from State LIHEAP programs to determine which RECS households participated in LIHEAP and what type and amount of benefits they received.  This process is termed "data matching."

As a result, the LIHEAP supplemental sample enhanced the accuracy, quality, and precision of RECS estimates for LIHEAP-recipient households.  Equally as important, data matching was a more efficient method for obtaining LIHEAP performance data than requesting State LIHEAP offices to independently collect energy burden data and other energy-related data for their LIHEAP recipient households.
ACF has funded a similar effort for the 2009 RECS.  For the 2009 RECS, EIA has more than tripled the household sample size from 4,000 household interviews for the 2005 RECS household interviews to approximately 15,000 household interviews for the 2009 RECS.  The survey is expected to yield information for about 5,200 low income households and 1,100 LIHEAP recipients.

In 2009, ACF/EIA contracted with APPRISE to collect information on what restrictions, if any, each State had in place on sharing administrative household data on LIHEAP recipient households as part of the RECS.  Most of the States indicated that the release of such information was possible within their own regulations or procedures to safeguard the privacy of its citizens.  The respondent confidentiality procedures that are used for the RECS interviews are consistent with those used for research studies involving other Federal assistance programs.

CONTENT:   ACF has transferred funds to EIA, in part, to procure a contract later this summer for the matching of LIHEAP household administrative data with RECS respondent households.  In this way, it can be determined which of the RECS surveyed households participated in LIHEAP and what type and amount of benefits they received in FY 2010.  We realize that it is not ideal for many States to provide LIHEAP household administrative data when their FY 2010 programs may have closed. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with
more lead time.

We would appreciate your office's participation in the 2009 RECS LIHEAP Administrative Data Matching project through the procedures discussed in the Attachment.  Data will be needed on regular and crisis fuel assistance benefits for FY 2010.  We ask that you keep the LIHEAP database for FY 2010 accessible until the end of December 2010.  Your cooperation in this effort is greatly appreciated.

Please do not hesitate to contact Leon Litow of my staff if you have any questions, concerns, or problems in providing the data.

ATTACHMENT:    2009 RECS LIHEAP Data Matching Requirements Using State LIHEAP Administrative Data

INQUIRIES TO:  Leon Litow, Lead Program Analyst
                           Policy and Evaluation Branch
                           Division of Energy Assistance
                           Office of Community Services, ACF, HHS
                           370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
                          Washington, D.C.  20447
                          Telephone:  (202) 401-5304
                           Fax:  (202) 401-5661


Nick St. Angelo
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services


2009 RECS LIHEAP Data Matching Requirements Using State LIHEAP Administrative Data

Acquiring a File of LIHEAP Recipients

EIA's  contractor will ask your State to provide a file of LIHEAP households that received fuel assistance in FY 2010.  States  may choose for whom they will furnish LIHEAP-recipient records:

   A.   All FY 2010 LIHEAP recipients for the entire state
   B.   All FY 2010 LIHEAP recipients only in the counties from your state that are part of the RECS sample (a list will be provided separately)
   C.   All FY 2010 LIHEAP recipients only in selected ZIP codes from your state that are part of the RECS sample (a list will be provided separately).

Protocol Options

Your  State  will  be asked to select one of  the  following  two options for providing the data needed to facilitate the 2009 RECS LIHEAP Supplement.

Option 1:  One-Step Approach

Your  State  will provide all of the required data items  and  as many of the optional data items as you have available for your FY 2010  LIHEAP  recipient households at whatever level  you  choose (see options A, B, and C, above).

Option 2:  Two-Step Approach

EIA's  contractor will ask your State to provide only  the  name, address  (including ZIP code), and telephone number  for  all  FY 2010  LIHEAP recipients at whatever level you choose (see options A, B, and C, above).

Later, EIA's contractor will give you a list of a subset of these LIHEAP  recipients who completed a RECS interview and ask you to provide  all  of  the  required data items and  as  many  of  the optional data items as you have available for those households.

Required Data Items

EIA's  contractor  will need the following data  items  for  each LIHEAP household you include in your State's file.

• Name
• Telephone Number                  • Address (must include ZIP code)
• Household Size                        • Gross Income
• Heating assistance awarded    • Amount of heating assistance
• Cooling assistance awarded    • Amount of cooling assistance
• Crisis assistance awarded        • Amount of crisis assistance

Optional Data Items

The following data will enrich the analyses EIA's contractor 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
• Heat  included  in rent             • Presence of children 5 or younger
• Energy costs                           • Presence of adult 60 or older
• Energy burden                        • Presence of disabled

Data Format

EIA's contractor will prefer to receive your data in one of these following commonly used formats:

•   MS Excel,
•   MS Access,
•   SAS, or
•   Stata

If  necessary, EIA's contractor will accept the data in otherformats as well.


Last Reviewed: June 24, 2019