White House announces $13 billion to help households with energy costs
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The Biden administration just announced more than $13 billion in new funding to help low and middle-income families with heating and energy costs.
That includes $4.5 billion for LIHEAP — the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program — which helps recipients pay heating and cooling bills. It also includes nearly $9 billion to help both low and middle-income households lower their bills by making their homes more energy-efficient.
Utility bills have gotten a lot more expensive in the last year (along with so much else).
“We’re looking at home heating costs of about 18% higher than last year,” said Mark Wolfe at the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.
Having $4.5 billion in LIHEAP funding will be a big help, he said, but because of inflation, “there’ll be families that were able to pay their home heating bill last year, that’ll be asking for help this year. And that’s our concern, that we won’t have enough money to help them.”
That is true every year — there’s never enough LIHEAP assistance to go around.
It’s one reason Samantha Gross at the Brookings Institution said it’s so important to have this new funding for longer-term fixes, too, like helping people put in heat pumps or better windows to make their homes more energy-efficient.
“These solutions will lower people’s energy bills permanently. It will reduce the need for LIHEAP funds over time if their energy bills are significantly lower … going forward,” she said.
And, she added, it will also help the climate.
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