LIHEAP: Program and Funding

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), established in 1981 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (P.L. 97-35), is a program through which the federal government makes annual grants to states, tribes, and territories to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. The LIHEAP statute authorizes two types of funds: regular funds (sometimes referred to as formula or block grant funds), which are allocated to all states using a statutory formula, and emergency contingency funds, which are allocated to one or more states at the discretion of the Administration in cases of emergency as defined by the LIHEAP statute.

States may use LIHEAP funds to help low-income households pay for heating and cooling costs, for crisis assistance, weatherization assistance, and services (such as counseling) to reduce the need for energy assistance. The LIHEAP statute establishes federal eligibility for households with incomes at or below 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income, whichever is higher, although states may set lower limits.

The largest share of LIHEAP funding goes to pay for heating assistance. In FY2014, the most recent year for which data are available, approximately 49% of funds went to pay for heating assistance, 7% was used for cooling aid, 21% went to crisis assistance, and 9% was used for weatherization. Funds are also used for administration (9% in FY2014) and up to 10% of a state’s allotment can be carried over for use in the next fiscal year (4% in FY2014). In FY2014, approximately 6.3 million households received heating and/or winter crisis assistance, and 800,000 received cooling and/or summer crisis assistance.

For FY2018, the LIHEAP appropriation was $3.640 billion in regular funds, enacted as part of the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-141), an increase of $250 million over the FY2017 funding level. Before enactment of P.L. 115-141, on March 23, 2018, LIHEAP had been funded through a series of continuing resolutions (CRs) at the FY2017 appropriations level of $3.390 billion in regular funds, less an across-the-board reduction of 0.6791% (P.L. 115-56). On October 20, 2017, HHS announced the first distribution of FY2018 LIHEAP funds under the CR, and on April 23, 2018, HHS announced the distribution of the remainder of funds appropriated pursuant to P.L. 115-141. For FY2018 funds distributed to states, tribes, and territories, see Table B-1.

For FY2019, as in FY2018, the President’s budget proposed to eliminate funding for LIHEAP (see Table B-3). As of the date of this report, the House Appropriations Committee had released its draft FY2019 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS), which proposed funding LIHEAP at its FY2018 level of $3.640 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee had not yet released an FY2019 LHHS funding bill.

LIHEAP: Program and Funding

Updated June 22, 2018 (RL31865)
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Contents

Summary

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), established in 1981 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (P.L. 97-35), is a program through which the federal government makes annual grants to states, tribes, and territories to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. The LIHEAP statute authorizes two types of funds: regular funds (sometimes referred to as formula or block grant funds), which are allocated to all states using a statutory formula, and emergency contingency funds, which are allocated to one or more states at the discretion of the Administration in cases of emergency as defined by the LIHEAP statute.

States may use LIHEAP funds to help low-income households pay for heating and cooling costs, for crisis assistance, weatherization assistance, and services (such as counseling) to reduce the need for energy assistance. The LIHEAP statute establishes federal eligibility for households with incomes at or below 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income, whichever is higher, although states may set lower limits.

The largest share of LIHEAP funding goes to pay for heating assistance. In FY2014, the most recent year for which data are available, approximately 49% of funds went to pay for heating assistance, 7% was used for cooling aid, 21% went to crisis assistance, and 9% was used for weatherization. Funds are also used for administration (9% in FY2014) and up to 10% of a state's allotment can be carried over for use in the next fiscal year (4% in FY2014). In FY2014, approximately 6.3 million households received heating and/or winter crisis assistance, and 800,000 received cooling and/or summer crisis assistance.

For FY2018, the LIHEAP appropriation was $3.640 billion in regular funds, enacted as part of the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-141), an increase of $250 million over the FY2017 funding level. Before enactment of P.L. 115-141, on March 23, 2018, LIHEAP had been funded through a series of continuing resolutions (CRs) at the FY2017 appropriations level of $3.390 billion in regular funds, less an across-the-board reduction of 0.6791% (P.L. 115-56). On October 20, 2017, HHS announced the first distribution of FY2018 LIHEAP funds under the CR, and on April 23, 2018, HHS announced the distribution of the remainder of funds appropriated pursuant to P.L. 115-141. For FY2018 funds distributed to states, tribes, and territories, see Table B-1.

For FY2019, as in FY2018, the President's budget proposed to eliminate funding for LIHEAP (see Table B-3). As of the date of this report, the House Appropriations Committee had released its draft FY2019 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS), which proposed funding LIHEAP at its FY2018 level of $3.640 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee had not yet released an FY2019 LHHS funding bill.


Introduction

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP), established by Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (P.L. 97-35), is a program through which the federal government gives states, tribes, and territories annual grants to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. The LIHEAP statute provides for two primary types of program funding: regular funds (sometimes referred to as block grant or formula funds) and emergency contingency funds. Regular funds are allotted to states according to a formula prescribed by the LIHEAP statute.1 Emergency contingency funds may be released and allotted to one or more states at the discretion of the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The first section of this report discusses LIHEAP program rules and benefits, including household eligibility and how funds may be used, and presents the most recent data available from HHS regarding household characteristics and benefit levels (see "Program Rules and Benefits"). The second section of this report discusses each category of LIHEAP funds and how they are distributed to states, tribes, and territories (see "Types of LIHEAP Funds"). The third section discusses LIHEAP funding and appropriations (see "LIHEAP Appropriations"). Appendix A describes the legislative history of energy assistance, leading up to and including the enactment of LIHEAP (see "Legislative History of Energy Assistance"). Finally, Appendix B contains tables showing recent LIHEAP allocations to the states, as well as appropriations for the program since its inception.

Program Rules and Benefits

Federal LIHEAP requirements are minimal and leave most important program decisions to the states, the District of Columbia, the territories, and Indian tribes and tribal organizations that receive federal funds (collectively referred to in this report as "grantees"). The law governing LIHEAP sets up most requirements as part of a list of "assurances" that grantees must make when they apply to HHS for funds.2 For example, grantees must make assurances about the sorts of energy assistance they will provide, who will be served, and how funds will be administered. The LIHEAP statute contains 16 assurances that govern various aspects of how the program operates at the state, tribe, or territorial level. This section discusses how grantees implement the assurances to provide energy assistance to low-income households.

How May LIHEAP Funds Be Used?

The LIHEAP statute outlines the ways in which grantees may use funds.3

  • Funds may be used to help households meet their home energy costs by making payments for heating and cooling expenses.4 All state grantees provide heating assistance to households, while a smaller number provide cooling assistance. See Table 1.
  • States must reserve funds to assist when households face an energy crisis,5 defined as "weather-related and supply shortage emergencies and other household energy-related emergencies."6 Within this definition, states determine the circumstances under which they will provide assistance. For example, generally states provide crisis assistance to households that are in danger of losing their heating or cooling due to problems with equipment, receipt of a utility shutoff notice, or exhaustion of a fuel supply.7
  • Funds may be used for low-cost weatherization projects. Grantees are limited to using 15% of their allotment for weatherization unless a grantee has a waiver from HHS for up to 25%.8
  • Grantees may use funds to provide services to reduce the need for energy assistance (e.g., needs assessment, counseling on how to reduce energy consumption) limited to 5% of the allotment.9
  • Funds may be used for program administration, limited to 10% of the allotment.10

See Table 1 for more information about the ways in which states use their LIHEAP funds.

A Note About LIHEAP Data

HHS publishes data about how states use LIHEAP funds as well as the number and characteristics of recipient households as part of annual LIHEAP Reports to Congress and LIHEAP Home Energy Notebooks. The most recent versions of both these reports are from FY2014. HHS has made preliminary data for FY2015 and FY2016 available on its Performance Management website at https://liheappm.acf.hhs.gov/, but CRS has not included the data in this report because it has not yet been validated. As a result, the LIHEAP data in this report are dated.

Table 1. Use of Federal LIHEAP Funds by States, FY2014

Use of Funds

Percentage of Funds

Dollars Obligated
($ in millions)

Number of States

Households Assisteda
(in thousands)

Heatingb

49%

$1,727

51

5,740

Cooling

7

226

19

673

Winter/Year Round Crisis Assistance

21c

727c d

51e

1,577

Summer Crisis

 

 

12

163

Weatherization

9

307

42

83

Administration

9

307

51

Services to Reduce Reliance on Home Energy

1

41

24

Carry Over to Next Fiscal Year

4

145

41

Source: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2014, p. 18 (percentage of funds, dollars obligated, and number of states) and p. 35 (number of households assisted and number of states for winter and summer crisis).

Notes: "States" includes the District of Columbia.

a. Note that the numbers of households assisted by category are not unduplicated. For example, HHS estimates that two-thirds of households that receive winter/year round crisis assistance also receive heating assistance.

b. In FY2014, HHS asked grantees to separate nominal LIHEAP payments from their heating assistance total. Nominal payments are used to leverage additional SNAP benefits (see text box). In FY2014, nominal payments from 14 states totaled $18 million. See Table III-2, note 7 of the FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress, pp. 36-37.

c. HHS provides the combined percentage and obligations for crisis assistance.

d. Total does not include the obligations of three states that use expedited heating assistance to provide assistance in crisis situations. These are Alaska, Kansas, and Massachusetts. Two other states that use expedited heating assistance (Maryland and New Hampshire) categorize the assistance as crisis. See Table I-8 of the FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress, pp. 19-21.

e. Total includes five states that use expedited heating assistance to assist households in fuel crisis situations. These are Alaska, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. See Table III-2 in the FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress, pp. 36-37.

Who May Receive Assistance?

Basic Eligibility: Federal law sets out parameters that grantees must follow in establishing eligibility for LIHEAP assistance. The statute establishes households as the unit that is eligible for LIHEAP assistance (versus a family). A household consists of an "individual or group of individuals who are living together as one economic unit for whom residential energy is customarily purchased in common or who make undesignated payments for energy in the form of rent."11 Grantees must have a system in place for a household denied assistance to appeal.12

  • Eligibility Based on Income: Grantees have the option of setting LIHEAP eligibility for households at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines or, if greater, 60% of the state median income.13 States may adopt lower income limits, but no household with income below 110% of the poverty guidelines may be considered ineligible.
  • Eligibility Based on Receipt of Other Benefits: Grantees may separately choose to make eligible for LIHEAP assistance any household of which at least one member is a recipient of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), or certain needs-tested veterans' programs.14

The LIHEAP statute does not impose an asset test in establishing eligibility, but states may choose to limit client assets. LIHEAP assistance does not reduce eligibility or benefits under other state or federal aid programs.15 For example, this means that a LIHEAP payment would not count toward the income or resources of a family applying for SNAP, housing assistance, or other types of assistance programs. Each year, the LIHEAP Clearinghouse, through a contract with HHS, makes available state eligibility guidelines on its website.16

Vulnerable and High-Need Populations: The LIHEAP statute requires that grantees conduct outreach to eligible households, "especially" households with elderly individuals, individuals with disabilities, or that have high energy burdens (home energy expenditures divided by income), to ensure that they are aware of LIHEAP availability.17

Grantees must further ensure that households with the lowest incomes, together with the highest home energy need in relation to income, receive the highest level of assistance.18 This provision was added to the law as part of the Human Services Amendments of 1994 (P.L. 103-252) with the intention of ensuring that both income and energy burden together were considered so that grantees would target households that are "most drastically burdened" and who have the "highest health risk."19

Owners and Renters: Under the LIHEAP statute, grantees must treat owners and renters "equitably."20 The way in which renters pay utilities may differ from homeowners, where, in some cases, payments for heating and cooling are included in rent rather than paid directly by the tenant. However, this should not affect eligibility for LIHEAP.

In addition, the issue of how to treat renters living in housing subsidized through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been raised in the past. In general, HUD housing subsidies are based both on rent levels and reasonable utility expenses. Tenants pay approximately 30% of their income toward the total rent and utility costs, and HUD subsidizes the remainder of the total. In cases where tenants pay their utilities directly (rather than as part of their rent), they are reimbursed for the HUD share of utilities through a utility allowance, which generally comes in the form of a rent reduction. In 1992, Congress enacted legislation to make clear that states may not automatically deny LIHEAP benefits to subsidized tenants who pay their utilities directly and receive utility allowances.21 However, states may take utility allowances into account when determining the amount of benefits subsidized renters may receive. On its website, the LIHEAP Clearinghouse compiles state policies regarding renters.22

How Is LIHEAP Administered?

Federal rules allow grantees to decide the mix and dollar range of benefits, choose how benefits are provided (e.g., to utilities or directly to households), and decide which agencies will administer the program. Grantees provide details to HHS about program operation via a state plan submitted each year,23 and they are to provide a method for public participation in the state plan's development.24

The state agency administering LIHEAP is to coordinate with other low-income programs, including the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).25 To the extent possible, grantees are encouraged to follow WAP rules in order to increase consistency between the two weatherization components.26 LIHEAP grantees are also required to establish fiscal control and accounting procedures, which include a way of monitoring the assistance that is provided.27

Community Action Agencies

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) have been a prominent part of administering energy assistance programs since the 1970s. CAAs are community-based organizations created as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-452), the law that established the War on Poverty. CAAs were authorized to administer a number of programs that assist low-income households. In addition to administering energy and weatherization assistance programs, CAAs run programs to assist families with housing, child development (including Head Start), food and nutrition, senior services, legal affairs, community development, and education, among others. More than 1,000 CAAs administer programs nationwide, and in many states continue to administer LIHEAP funds.

At the state level, many LIHEAP administrative functions such as intake and application processing are often delegated to local level agencies. In the early years of energy assistance, prior to the existence of LIHEAP, funds were administered by local Community Action Agencies (CAAs). This relationship continued when LIHEAP was enacted in 1981. The LIHEAP statute provides that, if a state designates local agencies to administer the program, then they agree to "give special consideration" to public or private nonprofit agencies receiving funds for low-income energy assistance or weatherization prior to LIHEAP's enactment.28 According to the LIHEAP Clearinghouse, in 30 states CAAs are involved in administering funds, another 13 states have local programs administered by the counties, and the remaining states are either administered at the state level or by nonprofit groups.29 In most cases, LIHEAP benefits are given directly to utilities or fuel oil suppliers to be applied to recipients' accounts rather than directly to recipients. An exception to this may occur in cases of renters whose utility payments are included in rent and who do not have their own account.

Households Served

Unlike some other federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), simply being eligible for LIHEAP does not entitle a household to LIHEAP benefits. Available benefits are limited by the amount that Congress appropriates each year, so the number of households that are served in a given year depends both on appropriations and how grantees use their funding.

In FY2014, an estimated 6.3 million households received heating and/or winter crisis assistance (the bulk of LIHEAP assistance that is provided).30 For the number of households receiving LIHEAP heating and winter crisis assistance from FY2000 through FY2014, see Table 2. While the number of recipient households is down from a peak of 8.1 million in FY2010, the number of households served continues to be higher than in years preceding FY2009, a year when appropriations reached the highest level ever for the program. Appropriations reached $5.1 billion for LIHEAP in both FY2009 and FY2010, and $4.7 billion in FY2011, compared to $2.59 billion in FY2008. In the years leading up to FY2009, recipient households ranged between 5.0 and 5.5 million.

Households Receiving Nominal LIHEAP Benefits

Since roughly 2009, some states have distributed nominal LIHEAP benefits to households (ranging from $1 to $5) in order to leverage additional SNAP benefits. This practice is sometimes referred to as "heat-and-eat."31 In 2014, the Farm Bill raised the amount of the LIHEAP benefit required to leverage additional funds to "greater than $20 annually." In its FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress, HHS identified 14 states that provided more than $18 million in nominal LIHEAP benefits to 4.8 million households.32 These were California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Data on nominal households assisted are excluded from overall LIHEAP data.

The same trend can be seen in the percentage of federally eligible households that receive heating and/or winter crisis assistance. In the mid-2000s, prior to increased funding in FY2009, the percentage of federally eligible households receiving assistance hovered between 14% and 16%, settling at 16% for FY2006 through FY2008. However, in FY2009 and FY2010, with increased funding for LIHEAP, 21% and 22% of those households federally eligible under the LIHEAP statute were served, respectively.33 Since the peak of LIHEAP funding, the percentage of eligible households served settled again at 16% in FY2013 and FY2014.34

FY2010 through FY2012 saw the highest number of households receiving cooling and/or summer crisis assistance—1.1 million households in each year, compared to 900,000 in FY2009 and 800,000 in FY2014.35 Prior to FY2009, the number of households receiving cooling and/or summer crisis assistance reached a high point of 700,000 recipients in FY2006.36 See Table 3.

In terms of vulnerable populations, HHS estimates that of all households receiving LIHEAP heating assistance in FY2014 (the most recent data publicly available), about 33% had at least one member 60 years of age or older; about 38% had at least one member with a disability; and 19% included at least one child five years of age or younger.37 Households may include members in more than one of the three categories, and an estimated 74% of recipient-households were in at least one of the three categories. Although some states set LIHEAP eligibility as high as 60% of state median income, on average, LIHEAP households served have very low incomes. In FY2014, 68% of households receiving heating assistance had incomes at or below 100% of poverty and 76% of households receiving cooling assistance were at or below the poverty level.38

Benefit Levels

Apart from federal funding levels, a variety of factors help determine to what extent LIHEAP is able to meet its stated goal of assisting low-income households in meeting their home energy needs. These include the following:

  • the cost of energy for a given household (influenced by energy price fluctuations and variation in kinds of fuels used);
  • the amount of energy consumed (influenced by severity of the weather, energy efficiency of housing, and expected standards of comfort); and
  • the number of eligible households (influenced by population size and health of the economy).

The average LIHEAP benefit varies by state. For example, in FY2014, the most recent year in which data are available, the average heating benefit nationwide was $301, with a range from $78 (Oklahoma) to $1,024 (North Dakota).39 The average benefit for cooling assistance, available in 19 states in FY2014, was $336, ranging from $121 (Arkansas) to $1,246 (District of Columbia).

One way of looking at LIHEAP benefits over time is to measure them in constant dollars. Each year, the HHS LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook presents average heating and winter crisis benefits in nominal dollars and constant 1981 dollars (the year in which LIHEAP was enacted). Until FY2009, when funding for the program increased by more than $2 billion compared to the previous fiscal year, the general trend in the constant dollar value of LIHEAP benefits since the program's beginning had been one of decline. In FY1981, the average heating and winter crisis benefit, measured in constant 1981 dollars, was $213.40 By FY1998, it had declined to $117, and although the average benefit reached $187 in FY2001, it generally declined again thereafter, with the exception of $171 in FY2006, when funding was higher than in the immediately preceding and subsequent years. In FY2009, the constant dollar value of the average LIHEAP heating and winter crisis benefit increased by about $58 from the previous year, to $209.41 Since then, the constant dollar value of the LIHEAP heating and/or winter crisis benefit has again declined, and by FY2014 was back down to $145.42 (See Table 2.)

Table 2. LIHEAP Households Receiving Heating and Winter Crisis Assistance

(FY2000-FY2014)

 

 

Households Assisted

Average Benefits

Fiscal Year

Total LIHEAP Funding Distributeda
($ in millions)

Households Receiving Assistance
(millions)

Households Federally Eligible for Assistance
(millions)

Percentage of Federally Eligible Households Receiving Assistance

Nominal Dollars

Constant 1981
Dollarsb

1981

$1,850

7.1

19.7c

36%c

$213

$213

2000

1,844

3.9

29.4

13

270

140

2001

1,856

4.8

30.4

16

364

187

2002

1,800

4.4

32.7

13

291

141

2003

1,988

4.8

34.5

14

312

154

2004

1,889

5.0

35.4

14

277

132

2005

2,162

5.3

34.8

15

304

140

2006

3,160

5.5

34.4

16

385

171

2007

2,161

5.3

33.6

16

320

139

2008

2,591

5.4

33.5

16

362d

151

2009

5,100

7.4

35.0e

21

502f

209

2010

5,100

8.1

37.1e

22

467

191

2011

4,701

7.6

40.1

19

462

184

2012

3,472

6.6

39.7

17

383

149

2013

3,255

6.4

39.0

16

362

139

2014

3,390

6.3

38.5

16

386

145

Source: Data regarding households assisted, federally eligible households, and benefit levels for FY2000 to FY2014 are drawn from the LIHEAP Home Energy Notebooks for FY1998 through FY2014.

a. For FY1981, see the Low Income Energy Assistance Program: Report to Congress for FY1981. For FY2000 on, see Table B-3.

b. Constant 1981 dollars are used by HHS to measure the value of LIHEAP benefits over time. LIHEAP was enacted in 1981 and the first appropriation occurred in FY1982. In FY1981, energy assistance was funded through a very similar predecessor program to LIHEAP, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. For more information, see Appendix A.

c. In FY1981, eligibility for energy assistance was based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics lower living standard rather than poverty or state median income.

d. Note that the FY2008 LIHEAP Report to Congress reports this average as $363.

e. In FY2009 and FY2010, the appropriations laws (P.L. 110-329) and (P.L. 111-117) gave states the option of increasing LIHEAP household eligibility to 75% of state median income. This meant that approximately 45 million households were eligible for LIHEAP in FY2009 and nearly 48 million in FY2010. However, for the sake of comparison, this table includes only those households federally eligible under the LIHEAP statute (those with incomes at or below the greater of 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income).

f. Note that the FY2009 LIHEAP Report to Congress reports this average as $505.

The constant dollar value of the cooling and summer crisis benefit, which is available to a more limited number of households in fewer states, has fluctuated over the years. While the average benefit in 1981 was $129, in the years that followed the average benefit in constant 1981 dollars declined as low as $57 in FY1983 and $49 in FY1990. However, the average benefit grew from FY1990 levels, and by FY2000 and FY2001 the average benefit had reached $107. Between FY2004 and FY2008, the constant dollar value ranged from $72 (in FY2008) to $105 (in FY2006). After FY2009, when funding for LIHEAP increased significantly, the constant dollar value of cooling and summer crisis benefits rose to $142.43 In FY2014, the average constant dollar benefit was $118.44 See Table 3.

Table 3. LIHEAP Households Receiving Cooling and Summer Crisis Assistance

(FY2000-FY2014)

 

 

 

Average Benefits

Fiscal Year

Number of States Providing Cooling Assistancea

Households Assisted

Nominal Dollars

Constant 1981 Dollars

1981

19

400,000

$129

$129

2000

17

400,000

206

107

2001

16

300,000

211

107

2002

19

700,000

145

70

2003

15

b

163

80

2004

13

400,000

192

91

2005

13

400,000

197

91

2006

16

700,000

236

105

2007

15

600,000

171

74

2008

15

600,000

172

72

2009

17

900,000

342

142

2010

17

1,100,000

296

121

2011

16

1,100,000

316

126

2012

18

1,100,000

263

102

2013

19

1,000,000

274

105

2014

19

800,000

315

118

Source: Number of states providing cooling assistance comes from LIHEAP Reports to Congress and data on households assisted, and average benefits is from LIHEAP Home Energy Notebooks.

a. Not all states that provide cooling assistance provide summer crisis assistance, though most do. See, for example, the FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress, Table III-2, pp. 36-37.

b. Data not available for FY2003.

Types of LIHEAP Funds

The LIHEAP statute authorizes several separate distributions of LIHEAP funds.45 The bulk of funds are distributed as "regular" funds, sometimes also referred to as formula or block grant funds. The regular funds are distributed via formula to the states and the District of Columbia. Tribes receive a share of state funding, while a percentage of regular funds is set aside for territories. The LIHEAP statute also authorizes emergency contingency funds, which may be distributed to one or more states, tribes, or territories at the discretion of the Administration. The statute also authorizes a smaller amount of funds for Leveraging Incentive grants, which are distributed to grantees that leverage nonfederal resources for their energy assistance programs. And a portion of Leveraging Incentive grants may be used for competitive Residential Energy Assistance Challenge (REACH) grants that grantees may use for various purposes that improve the energy security of vulnerable low-income families.

Despite the different distribution methods, grantees may use each form of funding for the eligible activities under LIHEAP (e.g., heating and cooling assistance, emergency crisis assistance, and weatherization).

Regular Funds

When LIHEAP was created in 1981, the only funds available were regular funds, which were distributed to the states via a formula developed under the predecessor program to LIHEAP, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP, see Appendix A). Regular funds continue to be distributed to the states via a formula, though it was changed in 1984 as part of the Human Services Reauthorization Act (P.L. 98-558). The history and operation of the formula are complicated, and the issues are addressed in a separate report, CRS Report RL33275, The LIHEAP Formula, by [author name scrubbed]. Tribes and territories are not directly included in the LIHEAP formula distribution, and the way in which they receive regular funds is described in more detail, below. Regular funds have not been authorized since FY2007, when they were authorized at $5.1 billion (P.L. 109-58).

Tribal Allotments

Indian tribes and tribal organizations have the option to request that they receive and administer their own allotments of LIHEAP funds.46 Tribal allotments may be based on the number of low-income households (as defined by the LIHEAP statute) residing on a reservation and any adjacent trust land as a proportion of all low-income households in the state. Alternatively, a tribe may work out its funding level with the state and enter into an agreement for an amount to be allocated. A tribe's allotment is then taken from the state's LIHEAP allocation. See Table B-1 for states in which tribes receive set-aside funding.

Funds for the Territories

The LIHEAP statute provides that at least one-tenth, but not more than one-half of 1% of the total regular fund appropriation must be set aside for energy assistance in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. HHS sets the exact percentage of funds that goes to the territories. In FY2014, HHS set aside 0.5% of funding for the territories, the first time that funding had reached the maximum allowed by the statute. This set-aside has continued in appropriations since FY2014.

Prior to FY2014, and since the inception of the program, the set-aside for territories had been approximately 0.134% of regular funds. This percentage was based on the amount of funding that the territories received under LIEAP, the predecessor program to LIHEAP. For that program, $2.5 million was made available to the territories. Prior to implementation of LIHEAP, in 1981, the territories asked HHS that more funding be provided.47 However, according to HHS, it decided to provide the same approximate percentage of LIHEAP funding to the territories as was provided as part of LIEAP, concluding that

[HHS] should retain the funding levels originally proposed, since they are based on a congressional determination of need for the 1981 program, and the comments did not include any information demonstrating that changed conditions required a higher relative level of funding as compared to the States than existed in 1981.48

HHS allocates funds among the 5 territories based on population, with Puerto Rico receiving approximately 90% of funds. For recent allocations to the territories, see the last rows of Table B-1 and Table B-2.

Emergency Contingency Funds

Unlike LIHEAP regular funds, emergency contingency funds are not distributed by formula. Instead, they are to be distributed at the Administration's discretion "to meet the additional home energy assistance needs of one or more states arising from a natural disaster or other emergency."49 The two terms are defined as follows:

  • "Emergency" includes a natural disaster; a significant home energy supply shortage or disruption; significant increases in the cost of home energy, home energy disconnections, participation in public benefit programs, or unemployment; or an "event meeting such criteria as the [HHS] Secretary may determine to be appropriate."50
  • A "natural disaster" is defined as "a weather event (relating to hot or cold weather)," floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, or other events as determined by the Secretary.51

Since the creation of the emergency contingency fund, funds have been released to grantees for various reasons, including energy price increases, extreme periods of hot or cold weather, and damage caused by natural disasters. In cases of natural disasters, grantees may be flexible in the ways they assist households, particularly those without power due to damaged or destroyed homes. According to HHS guidance, funds may be used to pay for temporary shelter, for transportation to shelter, coats and blankets, as well as for utility reconnection and equipment replacement.52

Some form of emergency contingency funds was first appropriated in FY1991, although the funds were not authorized until enactment of the Human Services Amendments of 1994 (P.L. 103-252). Like the genesis of federal energy assistance programs in general, appropriations for energy-related emergencies grew out of high heating oil prices coupled with cold temperatures.53 Congress voted to appropriate $200 million in FY1991 and referred to the program as an "Energy Emergency Contingency Fund" (see P.L. 101-517).54 Emergency contingency funding was permanently authorized at $600 million in FY1994, and it has remained authorized at that same level.

From the time emergency contingency funds were authorized through FY2011, funds have been appropriated in every year with the exception of FY2003 (when funds appropriated in a previous year were available for distribution). Since FY2011, funds have not been appropriated for emergency contingency funds. In addition, just because funds are appropriated does not mean that the Administration releases them to grantees. In a number of years that funds were appropriated, HHS released only a portion of the funds available (see Table B-3).

Emergency Designation

On occasion, LIHEAP emergency contingency funds have been designated as "emergency" for purposes of budget enforcement. For a period starting in FY1995, the LIHEAP authorizing statute provided that emergency contingency funds would be designated as emergency for purposes of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (BBEDCA; P.L. 99-177), as amended by the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1990 (enacted as part of P.L. 101-508).55 (The BEA established statutory limits on discretionary spending. However, funds that were designated as an emergency by both the President and in statute were effectively exempt from the spending limits.56) Congress first designated emergency contingency funds as "emergency" for budget enforcement purposes in the FY1992 through FY1994 appropriations acts, and then incorporated the language into the LIHEAP statute upon the inclusion of the emergency contingency fund in the law.57 The BEA expired in 2002.

While the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA; P.L. 112-25) further amended the law with new procedures to reduce the deficit, the statutory reference to LIHEAP emergency contingency funds as receiving an automatic emergency designation pursuant to the BBEDCA is no longer operative.58 The BCA allows for the possibility of an emergency designation as determined by Congress and the President each fiscal year, but the designation has not been used to fund LIHEAP.

Leveraging Incentive and REACH Funds

LIHEAP does not require grantees to match the federal funds they receive. However, a portion of LIHEAP funds may be used for grants based on the amount of outside funds that grantees obtain for energy assistance. These Leveraging Incentive grants were authorized in 1990, when P.L. 101-501 amended the LIHEAP statute to provide a separate funding authorization of $50 million ($30 million if regular funds appropriated are under $1.4 billion) for incentive grants to states that leverage nonfederal resources for their LIHEAP programs.59 Such resources might include negotiated lower energy rates for low-income households or separate state funds for energy assistance. States are awarded incentive funds in a given fiscal year on the basis of a formula that takes into account their previous fiscal year's success in securing nonfederal resources for their energy assistance program.

In 1994 (P.L. 103-252) the statute was further amended to provide that, of any Leveraging Incentive grants appropriated, up to 25% may be set aside for the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option (REACH). Under the REACH option states may be awarded competitive grants for their efforts to increase the efficiency of energy usage among low-income families and to reduce those families' vulnerability to homelessness and other health and safety risks due to high energy costs.

The funding authorization for Leveraging Incentive and REACH grants is separate from regular funds, and the grants have not been authorized since FY2004. In practice, the set-aside for these initiatives has generally been around $22 million to $30 million with dollars taken from annual regular fund appropriations. However, since FY2013, funds have not been set aside for Leveraging Incentive and REACH grants.

Other Federal Sources of Funds Available for Energy Assistance

For a time, beginning in the mid-1980s, additional funds were available to LIHEAP grantees via funds recovered as the result of oil company overcharges that violated price controls instituted in 1973 as part of the Emergency Fuels and Energy Allocation Act (P.L. 93-159). In cases where aggrieved parties could not be identified for reimbursement, funds were distributed to states to be used for energy efficiency purposes, including LIHEAP.60 Oil overcharge funds that were allocated to LIHEAP reached a peak of $174 million in FY1989, and had diminished to $200,000 by FY2008, the most recent year for which HHS has data available.61

In addition, the Social Services Block Grant program allows states to transfer up to 10% of funds to provide low-income home energy assistance, among other purposes.62 The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program also gives states the discretion to use funds for home heating and cooling costs.63

LIHEAP Appropriations

The LIHEAP Program Year

The federal government's fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30, is not ideally placed for a program like LIHEAP. Most states release the bulk of their LIHEAP funds during the winter months, shortly after federal appropriations are to be finalized. Further, in recent years, appropriations often have not been finalized until well after the fiscal year is underway. This may require states to enter the winter months without certainty as to the amount of funds they will receive.

LIHEAP was not always funded exactly in concert with the federal fiscal year. Beginning in FY1990, for four years (through FY1993) Congress set aside a portion of the funding to be used as "delayed obligations" for the program, as described in appropriations documents, making them available on the last day of the fiscal year. The funds were for purposes of "starting up activities" for the following winter's program.64 These amounts were small initially, totaling $60 million in FY1990 (P.L. 101-166) and $75 million in FY1991 (P.L. 101-517), but growing to $406 million in FY1992 (P.L. 102-170) and $688 million in FY1993 (P.L. 102-394).

Then, in FY1993, the LIHEAP statute was amended to change the way that the program was funded, recognizing the difficulty for grantees in running a program with little advance notice of the funding level for the coming year.65 The Augustus F. Hawkins Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-501) provided that LIHEAP be funded on a program year cycle, from July 1 to June 30, with appropriations made in the fiscal year in which the program year started. This funding structure is referred to as "forward funding." According to the Senate committee report (where the forward funding provision originated), forward funding was meant to give grantees time to plan once they knew how much funding would be available.

Despite the statutory language, Congress never actually appropriated funds for a program year as forward funding, and instead provided advance appropriations for LIHEAP. Advance appropriations for LIHEAP were made for the fiscal year subsequent to the year in which funds were appropriated. From FY1994 through FY2001, there were advance appropriations for LIHEAP in every year but one (FY1997). When the FY2001 appropriations law was enacted, it did not provide advance appropriations for FY2002, and advance appropriations for LIHEAP have not been provided since then.

Recent LIHEAP Funding

FY2019 LIHEAP Funding

For FY2019, as in FY2018, the President's budget proposed no funding for LIHEAP. HHS budget justifications contained language similar to FY2018, saying that:

The FY 2019 request does not include funding for LIHEAP, which is a decrease of $3.4 billion from the FY 2018 Continuing Resolution level. This continues the proposal from the FY 2018 President's Budget. In a constrained budget environment, difficult funding decisions were made to ensure that federal funds are being spent as effectively as possible. Some utility companies and state and local governments also provide heating and cooling assistance. Many states limit regulated utilities from discontinuing heat or cooling during specific timeframes such as certain winter/summer months and/or a certain number of consecutive days where the temperature drops below or increases above a certain level.66

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) in FY2019 on June 14, 2018. The bill would provide the same level of funding for LIHEAP as in FY2018—$3.640 billion in regular funds. Also as in the previous year, the bill would distribute $678.5 million according to the statutory, or "new," LIHEAP formula, with the remainder, $2.962 billion, distributed using "old" formula percentages. (For more information about the LIHEAP formula, see CRS Report RL33275, The LIHEAP Formula, by [author name scrubbed].) As of the date of this report, the Senate Appropriations Committee had not yet released an LHHS bill.

FY2018 LIHEAP Funding

In FY2018, the appropriation for LIHEAP was $3.640 billion, provided as part of the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-141), enacted on March 23, 2018. The appropriation exceeded the FY2017 level of $3.390 billion by $250 million. As in FY2017, all funds were appropriated as regular funds, and the law provided that the majority of funds—$2.962 billion—be distributed according to the "old" LIHEAP formula.

Before enactment of P.L. 115-141, LIHEAP funding for FY2018 was provided through a series of continuing resolutions (CRs) that funded most federal programs at their FY2017 appropriations levels, less an across-the-board reduction of 0.6791%.67 On October 20, 2017, HHS announced that it was distributing just over $3 billion in FY2018 funds pursuant to the first CR. After enactment of P.L. 115-141, HHS announced the distribution of the remainder of appropriated funds on April 23, 2018. For funds distributed to states, tribes, and territories, see Table B-1.

Prior to enactment of the CRs, the President's budget request proposed to eliminate funding for LIHEAP in FY2018. HHS budget justifications provided this explanation for no new funding for the year:

The FY 2018 request does not include funding for LIHEAP. In a constrained budget environment, difficult funding decisions were made to ensure that federal funds are being spent as effectively as possible. Utility companies and state and local governments provide significant heating and cooling assistance. The majority of states prohibit utilities from discontinuing heat during the winter.68

FY2018 was the first time since LIHEAP's enactment that an administration proposed to eliminate funding for the program. See Table B-3.

Neither the House nor the Senate appropriations committees followed the President's proposal for FY2018 LIHEAP funding. The House Appropriations Committee approved its LHHS Appropriations bill (H.R. 3358) on July 24, 2017. The bill proposed level funding for LIHEAP—$3.390 billion in regular funds, with $491 million allocated according to the "new" LIHEAP formula and the remainder according to the "old" LIHEAP formula.69

On September 7, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its LHHS bill (S. 1771). The bill would also have provided $3.390 billion in LIHEAP regular funds and the same "new" and "old" formula amounts.

Both the House Appropriations Committee-reported bill and Senate Appropriations Committee-reported bill would have set aside $3 million for training and technical assistance, but neither specified an amount for leveraging incentive and REACH grants. Nor did H.R. 3358 or S. 1771 propose to appropriate emergency contingency funds (the last year emergency contingency funds were appropriated was FY2011).

LIHEAP and Continuing Resolutions

OMB determines the amount of LIHEAP funding that is released to the states pursuant to a CR.70 Despite the fact that the program is technically funded at the previous year's level, states do not necessarily receive the same amount of LIHEAP funding that they received in the previous year. This is due to a standard provision in continuing resolutions that states the following:

[F]or those programs that would otherwise have high initial rates of operation or complete distribution of appropriations at the beginning of fiscal year 2018 because of distributions of funding to States, foreign countries, grantees, or others, such high initial rates of operation or complete distribution shall not be made, and no grants shall be awarded for such programs funded by this Act that would impinge on final funding prerogatives.71

The provision is meant to ensure that funds for a program that are released under a CR do not exceed the amount that is ultimately appropriated for it or effectively constrain Congress in its appropriations decision. Typically, states are eligible to receive their entire LIHEAP formula allocations in the first quarter of the fiscal year if they so choose, qualifying as a program "that would otherwise have high initial rates of operation or complete distribution of appropriations" at the beginning of the fiscal year as stipulated in the CR.

OMB may gauge the amount of LIHEAP funding to release, in part, based on appropriations bills in the House or Senate or, in their absence, on the President's budget proposal. For example, if a proposed funding level in one chamber is lower than what is proposed in the other, then the amount subject to release could be based on the lower proposal (in the event that Congress would ultimately enact the lower funding level).

Table 4. FY2017 and FY2018 Enacted and FY2019 Proposed LIHEAP Funding

(dollars in millions)

Type of Funding

FY2017 Funding
P.L. 115-31

FY2018 Funding
P.L. 115-141

FY2019 President's Budget Proposal

FY2019 House Appropriations Committee Draft Bill

LIHEAP Regular Funds

3,390

3,640

0

3,640

Training and Technical Assistance

3

3

3

Leveraging Incentive/
REACH Grants

a

a

Emergency Contingency Funds

0

0

0

0

Total Funding Available

3,390

3,640

0

3,640

Sources: The FY2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-31), the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-141), the FY2019 Department of Health and Human Services Congressional Budget Justifications, and the House Appropriations Committee draft LHHS bill, available at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP07/20180615/108431/BILLS-115-SC-AP-FY2019-LaborHHS-LaborBill.pdf.

a. The appropriations acts did not specify a level of funding for Leveraging Incentive and REACH grants, and no leveraging incentive and REACH grants were distributed in FY2017 and FY2018.

Other Issues

Program Integrity

In June 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) entitled Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Greater Fraud Prevention Controls Are Needed. The GAO report found instances of benefit payments to ineligible applicants based on various factors, including the use of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from deceased or imprisoned individuals as well as the under-reporting of income or over-reporting of household members.72 In another instance, the GAO set up a fake utility company and through fake applicants was able to obtain LIHEAP benefits.

GAO recommended ways in which HHS could prevent instances of fraud such as these in the future. Among the recommendations in the report were requiring applicants to provide SSNs and checking applicant information against various databases (e.g., Social Security Administration data, state vital records, and state directories of new hires).

HHS reacted to the GAO report and its recommendations in several ways:

  • The agency issued guidance that encouraged states to require LIHEAP applicants to divulge their SSNs. The LIHEAP statute and regulations do not require grantee states, tribes, and territories to collect SSNs or to verify applicant eligibility against specific databases, and not all states follow such verification procedures. Further, pursuant to the Privacy Act, HHS cannot require states to collect SSNs as part of the LIHEAP application process. However, the Tax Reform Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-455) authorizes states to use SSNs in administering certain programs, including "general public assistance" programs,73 which HHS has interpreted to include LIHEAP.74 As a result, HHS released guidance that the law "authorizes States to require SSNs as a condition of eligibility for use in verifying the identity of individual applicants and their household members." As of FY2011, 40 states required LIHEAP applicants to provide SSNs, compared to 28 in FY2010.75
  • HHS released an Action Transmittal asking states to supplement the information they provide to HHS for FY2011 to show that they are working to prevent improper payments, fraud, waste, or abuse.76 The LIHEAP statute directs the HHS Secretary to establish regulations to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.77 The regulations in turn require grantees to establish systems and procedures to prevent these activities among clients, vendors, and administering agencies.78 However, the same section of the statute also states that "[t]he Secretary may not prescribe the manner in which the States will comply with the provisions of this subsection."79 So while each year states must submit a plan to HHS in which they make "assurances" that they will comply with statutory requirements, there is no specific way that they must go about this. HHS suggested that states report on compliance monitoring, fraud reporting mechanisms, verifying applicant identities, cross-checking SSNs, and verifying applicant income, among others.80
  • HHS also assembled a Program Integrity Working Group to recommend ways in which the agency could address some of the issues raised. The working group released a report in April 2012.81 Among its recommendations were that (1) grantees require applicants to provide SSNs, but should provide for exceptions due to the emergency nature of LIHEAP, (2) HHS collaborate with other agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, to help with verification of identity and income, (3) HHS conduct a cost-benefit analysis of third party verification, and (4) grantees enter into vendor agreements that include provisions to prevent vendor fraud.

Performance Measures

At the direction of OMB, beginning in 2008, HHS staff, together with LIHEAP state directors, worked to arrive at a set of performance measures that would guide data collection and serve as a way of examining outcomes resulting from LIHEAP assistance.82 The performance measures are also intended to respond to some of the issues raised in the GAO report described in the previous section. States were first required to collect and report performance data for FY2016, though the data have not been made public.83

The type of performance data to be collected was published by HHS in a proposed information collection (and request for comment) on June 6, 2013, in the Federal Register and was amended slightly in a notice published a year later.84 There are three primary performance measures proposed. Each performance measure requires collection of several types of data.

  • The Average Reduction in Energy Burden for Households Receiving Fuel Assistance: Within this measure, data collected and reported includes the average annual income of LIHEAP recipient households, average LIHEAP benefits, the number of LIHEAP recipient households that use each primary heating source, annual heating fuel consumption by LIHEAP recipient households, and electricity consumption for cooling. Requirements in the initial 2013 Federal Register notice to collect consumption data were made optional in the 2014 Federal Register notice.
  • The Percent of Unduplicated Households Where LIHEAP Prevented a Potential Home Energy Crisis: Among the data collected for this performance measure are the number of households receiving utility past due or disconnect notices, the number receiving a notice from a bulk fuel vendor of an unpaid balance, the number of households who deplete deliverable fuel sources, and the number of households where LIHEAP benefits resulted in repair or replacement of heating or cooling equipment.
  • The Percent of Unduplicated Households Where LIHEAP Benefits Restored Home Energy: This measure involves identifying households where LIHEAP receipt resulted in utility reconnection, purchase of bulk fuel, or repair or replacement of heating or cooling equipment.

While LIHEAP state grantees are the entities required to collect and report the data to HHS, information on fuel and electricity consumption requires input from fuel vendors and utility companies.

Appendix A. Legislative History of Energy Assistance

LIHEAP was not the first federal energy assistance program created to help low-income households with their energy bills. Appropriations for home energy assistance initially came about in the 1970s at the time of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Oil Embargo of 1973-1974. In the fall of that year, a number of countries in the Middle East stopped exporting oil to the United States, a stoppage that continued until March of 1974.85 Prices of heating oil rose, while supplies were restricted. What followed were several years in which Congress directed funds to assistance focused on lowering energy bills through weatherization and education. Later in the 1970s, assistance evolved to include crisis assistance for households facing shutoff or other emergencies, followed by a system of direct payments to subsidize the energy bills of low-income households. When LIHEAP was enacted, direct assistance for energy bills was the focus of the program, but all of these forms of assistance―weatherization, education, and crisis assistance―were made part of the program and continue to be eligible uses of funds. This appendix discusses the evolution of energy assistance in the 1970s and early 1980s, culminating in the creation of LIHEAP in 1982.

Energy Assistance Programs Prior to LIHEAP

The first federal funds for energy assistance were the outgrowth of a program that was created in Maine just after the start of the oil embargo by OPEC countries. In 1973, the Maine Office of Economic Opportunity applied to the federal Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO, the federal agency in charge of administering War on Poverty programs in the 1960s and 1970s) to fund a project they had conceived of called "Project Fuel." Energy costs, particularly the costs of heating oil and wood, were growing in Maine, and the state determined that it would assist low-income and elderly households in meeting their energy needs.86 OEO approved funding for the state at the end of 1973. Project FUEL used funding primarily to help "winterize" homes, but also to provide crisis counseling, and purchase fuel for use in emergency situations such as equipment breakdown or when dealers ran out of fuel.87

Project Fuel prompted what would become the first federal program to assist low-income households during the energy crisis, the Emergency Energy Conservation Program (EECP, P.L. 93-644) enacted as part of the Headstart, Economic Opportunity, and Community Partnership Act at the beginning of 1975.88 The law authorized the Community Services Administration (CSA, which replaced the OEO as part of the same bill) to use funds primarily for weatherization and conservation purposes, but also gave the authority to use funds for fuel voucher or stamp programs. Community Action Agencies, Community Development Corporations, state Offices of Economic Opportunity, and other public or private nonprofit organizations were eligible to apply to administer the funds.89 Congress first appropriated funds for the EECP in FY1975, $16.5 million, as part of a supplemental appropriations act (P.L. 94-32).90 Funds for the Emergency Energy Conservation Program (to be used primarily for weatherization purposes) continued to be appropriated through FY1978.91

The EECP came to an end with the advent of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), created in 1976 as part of P.L. 94-385 and administered by the Federal Energy Administration (the predecessor to the Department of Energy). WAP was meant to be a supplement to the EECP, not to replace it.92 However, the programs were similar. Community Action Agencies administered WAP funds and weatherized homes of low-income households. By FY1979, the Administration proposed that weatherization funds be made available only through the DOE program. In that year and thereafter, Congress stopped funding the CSA weatherization program and only appropriated funds to the DOE Weatherization Assistance Program.

At the same time that weatherization assistance was phased out of the CSA, the agency began to administer direct assistance to low-income households to help pay their energy bills. In FY1977, as part of a supplemental appropriations act (P.L. 95-26), $200 million was appropriated to be used through the CSA for a Special Crisis Intervention Program. P.L. 95-26, which was debated and enacted in the spring of 1977, came just after an unusually cold winter in which both fuel usage and prices had been high, resulting in large numbers of consumers facing utility disconnection.93 Unlike previous funding for the EECP, which went primarily to fund weatherization, the FY1977 supplemental funding was to be used by the states for direct payments to utilities and fuel suppliers. The program allowed for up to $250 payments to utilities on behalf of customers whose power had been shut off or threatened with shut off, and up to $50 directly to households that could prove "dire financial need" as the result of having paid large fuel bills.94 Congress again appropriated funds to help households facing energy crises in FY1978 and FY1979 (see Table A-1).

In FY1980, Congress expanded energy assistance by appropriating significantly more funding than had been made available in the past, a total of $1.6 billion provided through 2 different agencies. The impetus behind the rather dramatic increase in funding was, as in the early 1970s, the increase in energy prices, particularly heating oil. In 1979, the decontrol of domestic oil prices, together with an increase in OPEC oil prices, led to increases in the price of heating oil and kerosene. An article in the Congressional Quarterly describing the environment surrounding the passage of energy assistance legislation noted the "spectacular rise in the price of home heating oil" as "the biggest factor in the problems that led Congress to take action."95 In the summer and fall of 1979, the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources alone held 12 hearings on energy assistance legislation.96

Enactment of LIEAP, the Predecessor Program to LIHEAP

Energy needs of low-income households continued to occupy the President and Congress after the appropriation of energy assistance funding for FY1980. One of the proposals to fund energy assistance for FY1980, S. 1724, the Home Energy Assistance Act (as reported by the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources), proposed a new energy assistance program to be authorized from FY1981 through FY1984.97 The program was enacted in April 1980 as the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) as part of the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act (P.L. 96-223).98 LIEAP was to be funded by windfall profits taxes imposed as part of P.L. 96-223 and deposited in a Treasury account, but the law did not provide for the account to be established, so the program was funded by an appropriation.99 LIEAP was authorized at $3 billion for FY1981; $1.85 billion was appropriated for the program in that year (P.L. 96-369).

Like LIHEAP, the program that was to follow, LIEAP was a block grant program to states. Funds were primarily distributed to the states by formula, with a small amount ($100 million) reserved for crisis assistance. States could use funds to help low-income households pay home energy costs. While the term "home energy" included cooling assistance, states could only provide cooling assistance in cases of medical need. Eligible households were considered those at or below the Bureau of Labor Statistics lower living standard, an income level that exceeded the poverty level in most instances.100 Recipients of certain means-tested benefits—Aid to Families with Dependent Children (now TANF), Food Stamps (now SNAP), SSI benefits, and certain veterans' benefits—were eligible for LIEAP benefits. Payments could be made to fuel suppliers or utilities, residents, or both, at the discretion of the state. States had some discretion in setting up their programs, with the ability to determine the state and local agencies that would administer the program, who would receive payments, the amount of benefits, certification for eligibility, how to provide benefits to renters, and establishment of funds to emergencies (up to 3% of total).

Most at issue in enactment of LIEAP was how funds would be distributed to the states, specifically whether states would receive the same share of funds, or if colder weather states would have preference. The formula established for LIEAP was complex and incorporated data that included temperatures, energy expenditures, and the number of low-income households. For more information about the LIEAP formula and how it pertains to LIHEAP, see CRS Report RL33275, The LIHEAP Formula, by [author name scrubbed].

Table A-1. Energy Assistance Funding Prior to LIHEAP

(dollars in millions)

 

Community Services
Administrationa

Department of Energy

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare

Fiscal Year

Emergency Energy Conservation Program

Special Crisis Intervention/
Emergency Energy Assistance Programb

Energy Crisis Assistance/
Intervention Program

Weatherization Assistance Programc

Low Income Supplemental Energy Allowances

Low Income Energy Assistance Program

1975

16.5d

 

1976

27.5e

 

1977

110.0ff

200.0g

27.5

1978

65.0h

200.0i

65.0

1979

200.0j

199.0

1980

400.0k

199.0

1,200.0l

1981

m

175.0

1,850.0m

Source: The table notes provide additional information about the funding for each program.

a. CSA funds were appropriated under the authority of Section 222(a)(5) and (12) of the Community Services Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-644). (In 1975, the relevant section was moved from (a)(12) to (a)(5).)

b. In FY1977, Congress called the program the Special Crisis Intervention Program, but in FY1978 and FY1979 referred to it as the Emergency Energy Assistance Program.

c. Appropriations figures for the Weatherization Assistance Program were taken from CRS Report 83-96, Federal Weatherization for Low-Income Households, by Evelyn Tager, May 12, 1983 (available to congressional clients upon request to CRS).

d. Funds were appropriated in FY1975 as part of the Second Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 94-32). The conference report (H.Rept. 94-239) provided that $7.5 million more than was available in the House-passed version of the bill ($9 million) be appropriated. Funds were added to the House-passed version (H.R. 5899) on the floor. See "Second Supplemental Appropriations Bill, 1975," House debate, Congressional Record, vol. 121, part 8 (April 15, 1975), pp. 10263-10266.

e. Funds were appropriated in FY1976 as part of the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriations Act (P.L. 94-206). The conference report (H.Rept. 94-689) specified that the level for EECP be $11 million more than the $16.5 million that was provided for in the House-passed version of the appropriations bill (H.R. 8069).

f. $27.5 million was appropriated for EECP as part of the FY1977 Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriations Act (P.L. 94-439). The CSA breakdown in funding is found in "Conference Report on H.R. 14232, Departments of Labor, Health, Education, and Welfare, and Related Agencies Appropriations, 1977," House debate, Congressional Record, vol. 122, part 21 (August 10, 1976), p. 26772. Later in the year, another $82.5 million was appropriated as part of the FY1977 Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 95-26).

g. P.L. 95-26 provided $200 million for the Special Crisis Intervention Program.

h. Funds were appropriated in FY1978 for the EECP as part of the FY1978 Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 95-205).

i. Funds were appropriated as part of the FY1978 Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 95-240). While the funds were to be used in a similar manner to the FY1977 appropriation to the Special Crisis Intervention Program (to assist households facing emergency circumstances), distribution to the states was contingent on a showing of an energy-related emergency. In addition, the program was referred to as the Emergency Energy Assistance Program.

j. Funds were appropriated as part of the FY1979 Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 95-482).

k. The Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP) represented an "expanded version" of the Special Crisis Intervention Program (see [author name scrubbed], Low-Income Energy Cost Assistance: FY1980, CRS Report, December 20, 1979). Of the amount appropriated, $250 million was part of the FY1980 Continuing Resolution (P.L. 96-123), which referred to the amount in the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 4389, H.Rept. 96-400) and the remaining $150 million was appropriated as part of P.L. 96-126, the Department of the Interior Appropriations Act.

l. Of the $1.2 billion appropriated to HEW for the Low Income Supplemental Energy Allowances, $400 million was set aside specifically for households receiving Supplemental Security Income. Funds were appropriated as part of P.L. 96-126.

m. Of the amount appropriated for LIEAP, it was specified that $87.5 million be allocated to the CSA Crisis Intervention Program. See the conference report to accompany H.J.Res. 610 (H.Rept. 96-1443).

Enactment of LIHEAP

In 1981, Congress enacted a new program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which replaced LIEAP. LIHEAP was similar to its predecessor program in that it was set up as a block grant to states, tribes, and territories to help low-income households meet their energy needs. LIHEAP maintained the same formula distribution as was set up under LIEAP. Unlike LIEAP, grantees were able to use funds for cooling expenses without a showing of medical necessity, as well as for weatherization. Grantees were given the option of setting eligibility at the higher of 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income (rather than the BLS lower living standard), and the program maintained eligibility for recipients of AFDC (now TANF), Food Stamps (now SNAP), SSI benefits, and certain veterans' benefits. The program was authorized at $1.875 billion from FY1982 through FY1984 and was funded at that level in its first year of operation. For historic LIHEAP funding levels, see Table B-3.

LIHEAP differed from LIEAP in that states were given more flexibility and had fewer administrative requirements in implementation.101 For example, under the new LIHEAP program, states were only required to report about households assisted annually, compared to quarterly under LIEAP, and HHS did not require uniform data collection or record keeping standards. Under LIEAP, states had to submit detailed changes in plans each time they wanted to modify benefit levels or the way in which funds were used.102 In applying for LIHEAP funds, the statute only required grantees to make assurances about the services they would provide, and HHS did not have the authority to dictate how states would accomplish program goals or to approve or disapprove state plans.103

Appendix B. Tables Showing LIHEAP Funding Levels

In this appendix are two tables that show how LIHEAP funds have been distributed to the states, tribes, and territories during recent fiscal years, and an additional table showing historical funding levels from the time the program was created to the present.

Table B-1 shows the amount of LIHEAP regular funds distributed to states, tribes, and territories pursuant to the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-141). Initially LIHEAP was funded through a series of CRs at FY2017 levels less an across-the-board reduction of 0.6791%. On October 20, 2017, HHS announced the first distribution of FY2018 funds to states, tribes, and territories, totaling more than $3 billion. After the final FY2018 appropriations bill was enacted, HHS announced distribution of remaining funds on April 23, 2018. Net allocations from the two distributions to the states are in columns (a) and (c) (i.e., the columns do not include funding for tribes) and tribal allocations are in columns (b) and (d). Allocations for the territories are in the last rows of the table, after the states. Column (e) shows total FY2018 funding for all grantees.

Table B-2 shows the total amount of LIHEAP regular and emergency contingency funds distributed to each state from FY2008 through FY2017; the totals include funds distributed to tribes within the states. Funding for the territories is in the last rows of the table, after the states.

Table B-3 provides historic funding levels for LIHEAP from the time the program was initially funded, in FY1982, through proposed funding in FY2019. The table shows authorization levels for LIHEAP regular funds, Administration budget requests for both regular and emergency contingency funds, the total amount of regular and emergency contingency funds appropriated in each fiscal year, and the total amount of emergency contingency funds distributed.

Table B-1. FY2018 Regular Fund Allocations to States, Tribes, and Territories

(dollars in millions)

 

First Distribution Announced October 20, 2017

Second Distribution Announced
April 23, 2018

 

States and Territories

Net Funding to States and Territories:
$2.994 billion
(a)

Amounts to Tribes:
$34 million
(b)

Net Funding to States and Territories:
$603 million
(c)

Amounts to Tribes:
$7 million
(d)

Total Funding Distributed to States, Tribes, and Territories:
$3.637 billion
(e)

Alabama

40.162

0.241

11.085

0.066

51.554

Alaska

9.102

6.523

1.850

1.303

18.779

Arizona

18.651

0.889

8.049

0.384

27.972

Arkansas

25.955

 

5.179

 

31.134

California

159.234

0.630

31.865

0.126

191.855

Colorado

44.238

 

8.937

 

53.175

Connecticut

67.254

0.001

13.483

 

80.738

Delaware

11.383

 

2.270

 

13.653

District of Columbia

9.277

 

1.872

 

11.149

Florida

63.919

0.010

27.586

0.004

91.520

Georgia

50.546

 

21.814

 

72.360

Hawaii

4.172

 

0.833

 

5.004

Idaho

16.994

0.867

3.430

0.175

21.465

Illinois

149.460

 

21.548

 

171.008

Indiana

67.665

0.006

9.756

0.001

77.428

Iowa

47.959

 

6.915

 

54.874

Kansas

30.139

0.041

6.033

0.005

36.217

Kentucky

44.628

 

8.943

 

53.572

Louisiana

40.133

 

7.987

 

48.120

Maine

33.704

1.279

5.089

0.193

40.265

Maryland

68.107

 

13.573

 

81.680

Massachusetts

122.838

0.098

24.767

0.020

147.723

Michigan

140.943

0.956

20.335

0.123

162.357

Minnesota

102.230

 

14.739

 

116.969

Mississippi

27.110

0.055

5.418

0.011

32.594

Missouri

67.450

 

13.603

 

81.052

Montana

17.287

3.662

3.489

0.739

25.177

Nebraska

26.220

0.016

5.293

0.002

31.531

Nevada

9.177

 

3.961

 

13.138

New Hampshire

23.297

 

4.697

 

27.994

New Jersey

105.991

 

21.419

 

127.410

New Mexico

15.621

0.853

3.133

0.171

19.778

New York

327.238

0.178

47.180

0.026

374.621

North Carolina

79.723

1.534

15.885

0.306

97.447

North Dakota

17.296

5.462

3.490

1.102

27.350

Ohio

132.219

 

21.832

 

154.051

Oklahoma

30.711

4.219

6.131

0.824

41.886

Oregon

31.499

0.582

4.553

0.072

36.707

Pennsylvania

178.634

 

36.147

 

214.781

Rhode Island

22.374

0.038

4.484

0.008

26.904

South Carolina

32.088

 

11.019

 

43.107

South Dakota

15.598

2.885

3.148

0.582

22.213

Tennessee

53.325

 

10.647

 

63.972

Texas

106.357

 

45.901

 

152.258

Utah

20.981

0.297

4.234

0.060

25.572

Vermont

16.952

 

3.421

 

20.373

Virginia

76.488

 

15.267

 

91.754

Washington

50.867

1.903

7.332

0.276

60.378

West Virginia

25.780

 

5.203

 

30.982

Wisconsin

92.022

 

13.267

 

105.289

Wyoming

8.239

0.280

1.663

0.057

10.239

Subtotal to States and Tribes

2,979.237

33.505

599.752

6.635

3,619.129

American Samoa

0.250

 

0.050

 

0.301

Guam

0.549

 

0.111

 

0.660

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

0.191

 

0.038

 

0.229

Puerto Rico

13.630

 

2.743

 

16.373

U.S. Virgin Islands

0.519

 

0.105

 

0.624

Subtotal to Territories

15.139

 

3.047

 

18.187

Total

2,994.376

33.505

602.799

6.635

3,637.316

Source: Funding levels are from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/resource/fy-2018-funding-release and https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/resource/fy-2018-second-and-final-liheap-funding-release.

Table B-2. LIHEAP Funding by State: FY2008 to FY2017

(dollars in millions)

 

Total Funds Distributeda
(regular and emergency contingency, where appropriated)

State
(includes tribal allotments)

FY2008

FY2009

FY2010

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

Alabama

19.221

64.274

69.016

61.570

47.408

48.269

48.885

44.387

43.551

44.941

Alaska

16.856

30.928

28.182

24.727

18.002

17.171

18.841

17.482

17.496

17.488

Arizona

9.296

31.084

37.422

33.844

23.852

23.343

23.641

21.581

21.062

21.734

Arkansas

14.667

39.711

40.000

36.401

28.537

26.746

27.505

26.777

27.858

26.819

California

103.117

248.487

234.215

211.554

154.574

145.410

153.592

174.086

177.168

171.344

Colorado

41.326

71.352

70.675

65.035

47.308

44.270

46.378

48.889

49.002

51.041

Connecticut

65.618

125.887

107.845

102.919

79.532

76.014

77.413

85.764

80.690

78.713

Delaware

6.929

18.748

16.847

15.854

11.957

12.573

13.016

12.547

12.574

12.036

District of Columbia

7.284

16.249

16.067

14.641

10.687

9.976

10.474

10.379

10.387

10.382

Florida

30.414

101.701

129.014

110.783

78.040

76.376

77.351

70.611

68.911

71.111

Georgia

24.047

80.410

102.091

87.862

61.702

60.387

61.158

55.829

54.485

56.224

Hawaii

2.403

5.182

6.589

6.235

6.107

5.416

6.159

5.622

5.487

5.143

Idaho

13.916

30.012

30.158

28.199

20.576

19.207

20.166

19.982

19.999

19.989

Illinois

149.216

265.679

265.542

248.941

185.684

160.191

167.458

167.396

166.270

167.396

Indiana

67.561

116.487

117.575

107.584

80.006

72.374

75.820

75.792

75.282

75.792

Iowa

47.881

76.929

74.524

71.589

54.813

51.292

53.735

53.715

53.354

53.715

Kansas

22.137

49.541

46.262

43.924

32.160

31.397

31.019

30.717

31.921

33.606

Kentucky

30.588

75.055

67.832

61.111

46.423

43.483

48.288

44.896

46.713

48.634

Louisiana

19.651

61.502

59.054

54.895

43.422

40.864

42.062

38.390

42.234

42.462

Maine

46.536

79.187

60.428

56.541

39.982

37.414

39.195

39.181

38.917

39.181

Maryland

35.913

109.164

90.005

88.926

69.790

70.390

68.513

68.854

72.255

74.051

Massachusetts

126.492

213.500

196.602

183.854

132.731

132.256

140.014

146.328

148.768

147.242

Michigan

141.667

249.416

276.447

238.425

173.450

165.582

165.444

161.827

157.859

158.928

Minnesota

102.063

163.982

160.089

152.559

116.839

109.335

114.541

114.498

113.728

114.498

Mississippi

16.479

42.622

46.650

40.635

31.591

29.313

30.120

26.996

29.051

29.746

Missouri

59.603

114.902

107.145

100.193

68.231

66.553

70.882

73.772

73.295

73.618

Montana

18.907

35.202

34.530

33.072

24.135

22.529

23.654

23.438

23.457

23.446

Nebraska

23.679

44.086

42.893

41.447

30.226

28.214

29.623

29.353

29.377

29.363

Nevada

4.366

14.599

18.218

15.868

11.203

10.964

11.104

10.136

9.892

10.208

New Hampshire

25.635

47.737

37.423

36.050

26.055

24.321

25.536

25.750

26.399

28.546

New Jersey

108.707

185.773

199.455

188.792

136.746

124.480

124.570

126.586

127.094

120.142

New Mexico

11.638

27.451

24.739

23.543

17.074

15.938

16.734

17.844

18.766

18.600

New York

359.628

538.243

537.348

521.925

375.710

350.169

366.843

381.440

364.242

366.707

North Carolina

42.383

132.528

127.139

116.205

83.011

87.702

88.271

86.504

86.702

85.848

North Dakota

20.539

38.240

36.668

35.936

26.218

24.473

25.695

25.460

25.482

25.469

Ohio

132.004

245.750

253.035

234.875

165.463

144.794

154.314

148.087

147.091

148.087

Oklahoma

17.668

52.878

53.190

49.378

36.094

35.955

37.147

36.338

36.844

37.498

Oregon

27.650

51.460

52.029

47.861

36.666

34.311

35.945

35.931

35.690

35.931

Pennsylvania

191.759

308.394

315.357

294.486

209.548

190.810

203.071

206.356

203.405

209.107

Rhode Island

20.875

38.653

34.444

31.274

23.241

23.976

23.813

27.361

26.002

25.333

South Carolina

15.266

51.047

56.232

48.649

36.270

38.335

38.825

35.442

34.588

35.693

South Dakota

16.681

31.058

29.989

29.259

21.293

19.877

20.869

20.678

20.696

20.686

Tennessee

30.985

80.512

84.899

74.390

55.405

56.856

58.040

55.161

56.101

58.666

Texas

50.599

169.196

212.807

184.201

129.832

127.064

128.686

117.473

114.645

118.304

Utah

19.204

35.755

35.003

33.537

24.513

22.882

24.025

23.806

23.825

23.814

Vermont

19.370

36.156

27.941

26.959

19.529

18.230

19.140

18.965

18.981

18.972

Virginia

43.746

127.668

109.927

107.215

80.436

78.971

81.877

81.432

83.926

83.571

Washington

45.481

84.645

83.989

78.688

60.310

56.437

59.124

59.102

58.705

59.102

West Virginia

20.157

45.019

43.363

40.786

29.700

27.723

29.108

28.842

28.866

28.852

Wisconsin

91.872

147.608

145.214

137.390

105.172

98.417

103.103

103.065

102.372

103.065

Wyoming

7.689

14.315

14.124

13.444

9.815

9.162

9.619

9.531

9.539

9.535

Subtotal to States and Tribes

2,587

5,066

5,066

4,694

3,437

3,248

3,370

3,370

3,351

3,370

American Samoa

0.050

0.111

0.113

0.105

0.077

0.073

0.280

0.280

0.279

0.280

Guam

0.109

0.244

0.247

0.229

0.169

0.160

0.614

0.614

0.611

0.614

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

0.038

0.085

0.086

0.080

0.059

0.055

0.213

0.213

0.212

0.213

Puerto Rico

2.713

6.063

6.137

5.692

4.196

3.966

15.248

15.248

15.160

15.248

U.S. Virgin Islands

0.103

0.231

0.234

0.217

0.160

0.151

0.581

0.581

0.578

0.581

Subtotal to Territoriesb

3.014

6.734

6.816

6.322

4.661

4.405

16.937

16.937

16.839

16.937

Leveraging/
REACHc

d

27.000

27.000

0

26.949

0

0

0

0

0

Training/
tech. asst.e

0.292

0.300

0.300

0.300

2.994

2.838

2.958

2.988

2.988

2.988

Total

2,591

5,100

5,100

4,701

3,472

3,255

3,390

3,390

3,371

3,390

Source: Compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) using U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funding data.

a. The totals shown in these columns include regular fund allocations to states and tribes, and any contingency funds awarded to states and tribes in that year.

b. The statute provides that HHS must set aside not less than one-tenth of 1% and not more than one-half of 1% for use in the territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). In FY2014, HHS went from providing slightly more than 0.1% to 0.5%.

c. The statute provides a separate funding authorization for competitive grants under the leveraging incentive program (designed to encourage states to increase nonfederal support for energy assistance). It also provides that up to 25% of any leveraging funds made available may be reserved for competitive REACH grants (for state efforts to increase efficient use of energy among low-income households and to reduce their vulnerability to homelessness and other problems due to high energy costs). Congress may stipulate in appropriations acts that a certain portion of the LIHEAP regular funds can be set aside for leveraging and REACH grants.

d. The FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161) did not specify funds for leveraging incentive and REACH grants.

e. The statute provides that HHS may reserve up to $300,000 for making grants or entering into contracts with states, public agencies, or private nonprofits that provide training and technical assistance related to achieving the purposes of the LIHEAP program. Since FY2012, Congress has increased the amount available in annual appropriations acts.

Table B-3. LIHEAP Funding: FY1982 to FY2019

(dollars in thousands)

 

Regular Fundsa

Emergency Contingency Fundsb

 

Fiscal Year

Authorized

President's Request

Appropriated

President's Request

Appropriated

Distributed

Total Distributed

1982

1,875,000

1,400,000

1,875,000

1,875,000

1983

1,875,000

1,300,000

1,975,000

1,975,000

1984

1,875,000

1,300,000

2,075,000

2,075,000

1985

2,140,000

1,875,000

2,100,000

2,100,000

1986

2,275,000

2,097,765

2,100,000

2,100,000

1987

2,050,000

2,097,642

1,825,000

1,825,000

1988

2,132,000

1,237,000

1,531,840

1,531,840

1989

2,218,000

1,187,000

1,383,200

1,383,200

1990

2,307,000

1,100,000

1,443,000

1,443,000

1991

2,150,000

1,050,000

1,415,055

NAc

195,180

195,180

1,610,235

1992

2,230,000

925,000

1,500,000

100,000

300,000

0

1,500,000

1993

ssand

1,065,000

1,346,030

0

595,200

0

1,346,030

1994

ssand

1,507,408

1,437,402

0

600,000

300,000

1,737,402

1995

2,000,000

1,475,000

1,319,202

e

600,000

100,000

1,419,202

1996

2,000,000

1,319,204

900,000

f

180,000

180,000

1,080,000

1997

2,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

300,000

420,000

215,000

1,215,000

1998

2,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

300,000

300,000

160,000

1,160,000

1999

2,000,000

1,000,000

1,100,000

300,000

300,000

175,299

1,275,299

2000

ssand

1,100,000

1,100,000

300,000

900,000

744,350g

1,844350g

2001

ssand

1,100,000

1,400,000

300,000

600,000h

455,650i

1,855,650

2002

2,000,000

1,400,000

1,700,000

300,000

300,000

100,000j

1,800,000

2003

2,000,000

1,400,000

1,788,300k

300,000

0

200,000l

1,988,300

2004

2,000,000

1,700,000

1,789,380

300,000

99,410

99,410

1,888,790

2005

5,100,000

1,900,500m,n

1,884,799

200,000

297,600

277,250

2,162,050

2006

5,100,000

1,800,000m

2,480,000

200,000

681,000

679,960

3,160,000

2007

5,100,000

1,782,000

1,980,000

0

181,000

181,000

2,161,000

2008

o

1,500,000

1,980,000

282,000

590,328

610,678p

2,590,678

2009

o

1,700,000

4,509,672

300,000

590,328

590,328

5,100,000

2010

o

2,410,000q

4,509,672

790,000

590,328

590,678

5,100,350

2011

o

2,510,000r

4,500,653s

790,000

200,000

200,000

4,700,653

2012

o

1,980,000

3,471,672t

590,000

0

0

3,471,672

2013

o

2,820,000

3,290,083u

200,000

0

0

3,255,436v

2014

o

2,820,000w

3,424,549

150,000

0

0

3,390,304v

2015

o

2,550,000w

3,390,304

200,000

0

0

3,390,304

2016

o

3,190,000x

3,390,304

0x

0

0

3,370.831v

2017

o

3,300,304y

3,390,304

0y

0

0

3,390,304

2018

o

0

3,640,304

0

0

0

3,640,304

2019

o

0

0

Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) on the basis of HHS budget justifications.

a. Regular funds include amounts distributed to states, tribes, and territories; leveraging incentive and REACH grants; and funds for training and technical assistance.

b. In 1994, a permanent $600 million annual authorization for emergency contingency funding was enacted. As shown, however, before this authorization emergency contingency funds were sometimes made available.

c. Emergency contingency funds were first allocated in January of 1991 due to the price of home heating oil (P.L. 101-517). Funds were not requested in the President's budget until FY1992.

d. Such sums as necessary.

e. The President's FY1995 request would have made the unallocated contingency funds that were appropriated in FY1994 (P.L. 103-112) available until expended.

f. The President's FY1996 request would have made the unallocated contingency funds that were appropriated in FY1995 (P.L. 103-333) available until expended.

g. The Administration released $400 million of the FY2000 contingency funds in late September 2000, making them effectively available to states in FY2001.

h. The initial contingency fund appropriation for FY2001 was $300 million (P.L. 106-554). The Administration released the entire amount by December 30, 2000. On July 24, 2001, the 2001 Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 107-20) provided an additional $300 million in contingency funds.

i. The distributed contingency funds in FY2001 included the $300 million appropriated in P.L. 106-554 and the amount remaining from FY2000 (approximately $156 million). The $300 million that was appropriated as part of P.L. 107-20 was made available until expended; a portion was distributed in FY2003 and the remainder was converted to regular funds that same year.

j. The FY2002 contingency funds were distributed out of the total FY2002 contingency appropriation (P.L. 107-20). With the end of FY2002, the remainder of the contingency funds expired ($200 million).

k. The FY2003 appropriations act (P.L. 108-7) included $1.688 billion in new regular funds and converted into regular funds $100 million of remaining contingency funds originally appropriated in FY2001 (P.L. 107-20).

l. FY2003 contingency funds were distributed out of contingency dollars appropriated as part of the FY2001 supplemental (P.L. 107-20).

m. Of the amounts requested by the President in FY2005 and FY2006, $500,000 was to be set aside for a national evaluation.

n. In FY2005, the President's initial budget request for LIHEAP regular funds was $1,800,000,500. However, on November 14, 2004, the President submitted a budget amendment to Congress, requesting $1,900,000,500 for LIHEAP regular funds.

o. Appropriations for LIHEAP were not explicitly authorized from FY2008 through FY2018.

p. Of the emergency contingency funds distributed in FY2008, $20 million came from funds appropriated in the FY2005 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-447). Contingency funds in P.L. 108-447 were made available until expended.

q. In FY2010, the President proposed that a mechanism be created whereby additional LIHEAP funds would be released when energy price increases reached certain levels; the proposal was not adopted by Congress. The Administration estimated that this "trigger" would have resulted in mandatory budget authority of $450 million. This estimate is not included in the table.

r. In FY2011, the President again proposed a trigger to release additional LIHEAP funds. In addition to proposing that funds be released when energy prices increase, the FY2011 proposal would have released funds when participation in SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) increased above a certain level. The Administration estimated that this trigger would have resulted in mandatory budget authority of $2 billion. This estimate is not included in the table.

s. P.L. 112-10 imposed an across-the-board rescission of 0.2% on discretionary accounts. As a result, the regular fund allocation was reduced from approximately $4.51 billion to $4.50 billion.

t. P.L. 112-74 imposed an across-the-board rescission of 0.189% on discretionary accounts, bringing the total available for LIHEAP down from $3.478 billion to $3.472 billion. See Division F, Title V, Section 527.

u. The FY2013 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 113-6) funded LIHEAP and most other federal programs at FY2012 levels. However, imposition of reductions through sequestration, including an across-the-board reduction of 0.2% applied in order to stay within the caps set by the Budget Control Act, reduced funding for LIHEAP from $3.472 billion to $3.290 billion.

v. The appropriations acts give HHS the authority to transfer funds within the agency. In FY2013 and FY2014, HHS transferred approximately $35 million from LIHEAP, reducing the total available for distribution. In FY2016, HHS transferred approximately $19 million.

w. The President's FY2014 and FY2015 budgets also proposed $50 million for a new competitive grant that would be used to help low-income households reduce their energy burdens. The $50 million is not included in the request in the table.

x. The President's FY2016 budget proposed an additional $200 million for a new competitive grant, called the Utility Innovation Fund, to help reduce energy burdens of low-income households. In addition, as in FY2010 and FY2011, the budget proposed that emergency contingency funds be funded through mandatory appropriations based on increased energy prices, extreme cold, or participation in SNAP. Neither of these proposals is included in the table.

y. Similar to proposals in FY2010, FY2011, and FY2016, the President's FY2017 budget proposed that emergency contingency funds be funded through mandatory appropriations based on increased energy prices, extreme temperatures, or participation in SNAP. This proposal is not included in the table.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Housing Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

This report benefitted from the research assistance of Jean-Luc Tilly, an intern with the Congressional Research Service, who delved into the legislative history of energy assistance programs in the 1970s and 1980s.

Footnotes

1.

See §2604(a)-(d) of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act (Title XXVI of P.L. 97-35), as amended. The section is codified at 42 U.S.C. §8623(a)-(d).

2.

42 U.S.C. §8624.

3.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(1).

4.

"Home energy" is defined at 42 U.S.C. §8622 as "a source of heating or cooling in residential dwellings."

5.

42 U.S.C. §8623(c).

6.

42 U.S.C. §8622(3).

7.

For the state definitions of "crisis" see the compilation at the LIHEAP Clearinghouse, https://liheapch.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files//webfiles/docs/LIHEAP_Crisis_2018.pdf. The LIHEAP Clearinghouse, via a contract with HHS, collects information about how states operate their energy assistance programs.

8.

The limitation on use of weatherization funds is at 42 U.S.C. §8624(k).

9.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(16).

10.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(9).

11.

42 U.S.C. §8622(5).

12.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(13).

13.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(2)(B). Each year HHS publishes updated poverty levels and state median income thresholds and the LIHEAP Clearinghouse publishes them on their website, https://liheapch.acf.hhs.gov/delivery/income_eligibility.htm.

14.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(2)(A). Eligible veterans' benefits are compensation to parents for the service-connected death of a child, to veterans with non-service connected disabilities, to the surviving spouse of a veteran, and to children of a deceased veteran. In each case, benefits are need-based and are reduced based on the beneficiary's income.

15.

42 U.S.C. §8624(f).

16.

The LIHEAP Clearinghouse website is at https://liheapch.acf.hhs.gov/.

17.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(3).

18.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(5).

19.

U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1994, report to accompany S. 2000, 103rd Cong., 2nd sess., April 19, 1994, S.Rept. 103-251, p. 55.

20.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(8).

21.

See §927 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-550) as amended by P.L. 103-185, a bill to provide increased flexibility to States in carrying out the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

22.

See https://liheapch.acf.hhs.gov/tables/FY2016/subsidize.htm.

23.

42 U.S.C. §8624(c).

24.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(12).

25.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(4).

26.

Ibid.

27.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(10).

28.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b)(6).0.

29.

See the LIHEAP Clearinghouse website, https://liheapch.acf.hhs.gov/admin/admintro.htm.

30.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook for Fiscal Year 2014, June 2016, p. 46, (hereinafter, FY2014 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook). This estimate attempts to remove duplication among households that received both heating and winter crisis assistance.

31.

For more information about heat-and-eat, see CRS Report R42591, The 2014 Farm Bill: Changing the Treatment of LIHEAP Receipt in the Calculation of SNAP Benefits, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

32.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2014, p. 34 (hereinafter, FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress).

33.

Note that due to a provision in the FY2009 appropriations act (P.L. 110-329) that allowed states to increase household eligibility to 75% of state median income in that year, only 16% of those eligible under the appropriations law were served in FY2009. FY2009 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 30.

34.

FY2014 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 45.

35.

FY2009-FY2014 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebooks.

36.

See the FY2009 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 31, and the FY2006 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 30.

37.

FY2014 LIHEAP Report to Congress, p. 56.

38.

Ibid., pp. 46-48.

39.

Ibid., pp. 40-42.

40.

FY2009 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 33.

41.

Ibid.

42.

FY2014 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 48.

43.

FY2009 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 33.

44.

FY2014 LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook, p. 48.

45.

42 U.S.C. §8621.

46.

42 U.S.C. §8623(d).

47.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Block Grant Programs: Final Rules," 47 Federal Register 29485, July 6, 1982.

48.

Ibid.

49.

42 U.S.C. §8621(e). Initially, the terms "natural disaster" and "emergency" were not defined in the statute, and, several years later, in 1998, as part of P.L. 105-285, Congress amended the statute to include definitions.

50.

42 U.S.C. §8622(1).

51.

42 U.S.C. §8622(7).

52.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services, LIHEAP Disaster Relief, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/liheap-disaster-relief, accessed November 15, 2012.

53.

During the FY1991 appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee noted that "[e]xtraordinary circumstances in world oil markets pose a serious risk that low-income households will face skyrocketing home energy prices in the 1990-1991 heating season." U.S. Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Assistance, Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation Administration, and Other Urgent Needs, and Transfers, and Reducing Funds Budgeted for Military Spending Act, report to accompany H.R. 4404, 101st Cong., 2nd sess., March 27, 1990, H.Rept. 101-434, pp. 17-18.

54.

Funds were to be made available if the average price of heating oil for a given month exceeded the four-year average for the same month by 20% or more. Funds were distributed to all states but Hawaii in January 1991 based on December 1990 heating oil prices. Pursuant to the law, states received funds based on the percentage of low-income households using heating oil, liquified petroleum gas, and kerosene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 1991, October 1992, pp. 59-60.

55.

For more information, see CRS Report R41901, Statutory Budget Controls in Effect Between 1985 and 2002, by [author name scrubbed].

56.

See §251(b)(2)(D) of P.L. 101-508, later extended as part of P.L. 103-66.

57.

The language as enacted in P.L. 103-252 reads "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." See 42 U.S.C. §8621(e).

58.

After expiration of the BEA, there were three years in which the appropriations language designated emergency contingency funds as "emergency" for purposes of the budget resolutions (these were FY2005, FY2008, and FY2009). Budget resolutions establish allocations of spending under the jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committees. For more information, see CRS Report R40472, The Budget Resolution and Spending Legislation, by [author name scrubbed].

59.

42 U.S.C. §8621(d).

60.

For example, §155 of the FY1983 Further Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 97-377) specified that the Department of Energy distribute $200 million to the states to be used for 5 energy efficiency programs, including LIHEAP. Funds were also made available via court orders and settlements. See, for example, Chuck Hill, Heather Gonzalez, and Roger Colton, "Oil Overcharge and Percentage-of-Income Payment Plan Developments," Clearinghouse Review, vol. 22, no. 2 (June 1988), pp. 146-148.

61.

FY2008 LIHEAP Report to Congress, pp. 2-3.

62.

42 U.S.C. §1397a(d).

63.

42 U.S.C. §604(a)(1).

64.

See S.Rept. 102-104, p. 180, to accompany H.R. 2707, an appropriations bill that was vetoed, though the same LIHEAP funding went into final bill.

65.

"[T]he funding cycle for LIHEAP under current law is a major obstacle to effective state planning and management of an efficient and timely winter heating or crisis program. LIHEAP funds are designed to be expended in the season when home energy costs are incurred and in time to avoid household energy emergencies. However, in recent years, the Department had most often been without a final appropriations figure by the October 1 program start date. States must begin their planning for the program well before the level of funding is established. As a result of funding uncertainties, benefits cannot be set, and especially when major cuts are proposed, eligibility levels cannot be determined." U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Human Services Reauthorization Act, report to accompany H.R. 4151, 101st Cong., 2nd sess., August 3, 1990, S.Rept. 101-421, p. 75.

66.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FY2019 Budget Justifications for the Administration for Children and Families, p. 21, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/olab/acf_master_cj_acf_final_3_19_0.pdf.

67.

The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018, and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-56), enacted on September 8, 2017, funded federal programs, including LIHEAP, until December 8, 2017. A second CR (P.L. 115-90) extended funding through December 22, 2017, a third CR (P.L. 115-96) extended funding through January 19, 2018, a fourth CR (P.L. 115-120) provided funding through February 8, 2018, and a fifth CR (P.L. 115-123) provided funding until enactment of the final appropriations bill on March 23, 2018.

68.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FY2018 Budget Justifications for the Administration for Children and Families, p. 24, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/olab/acf_master_cj_508_compmay_21_2017.pdf.

69.

On August 16, 2017, H.R. 3358 was one of multiple bills incorporated into H.R. 3354, the FY2018 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, posted on the Rules Committee website. H.R. 3354 was to be used as the legislative vehicle for a consolidated appropriations bill, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018. However, the first CR was enacted before Congress completed action on H.R. 3354. LIHEAP provisions in H.R. 3354 were the same as those in H.R. 3358.

70.

For more information about how funding is provided pursuant to CRs, see CRS Report RL34700, Interim Continuing Resolutions (CRs): Potential Impacts on Agency Operations, by [author name scrubbed].

71.

See, for example, P.L. 115-56, Division D, Section 109.

72.

See U.S. Government Accountability Office, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Greater Fraud Prevention Controls Are Needed, GAO-10-621, June 2010, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10621.pdf.

73.

42 U.S.C. §405(c)(2)(C)(i).

74.

See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP Information Memorandum 10-06, States are Strongly Encouraged to Exercise their Discretion to Require Social Security Numbers in Determining Eligibility for LIHEAP, May 5, 2010, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/guidance/information_memoranda/im10-06.html.

75.

Lauren Christopher, "LIHEAP Program Integrity Activities at the State Level," presentation at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 11, 2012, http://www.energyandutilityconference.org/Assets/2012%20Conference/2012%20Presentations/2C_Lauren%20Christopher.pdf.

76.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, LIHEAP Action Transmittal 2010-6: Plan Supplement Required for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011: LIHEAP Program Integrity Plan—Application for LIHEAP Funding, June 8, 2010, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/guidance/action_transmittals/at10-06_1.html.

77.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b).

78.

45 C.F.R. §96.84(c).

79.

42 U.S.C. §8624(b).

80.

The template is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/guidance/action_transmittals/at10-06_a.html.

81.

LIHEAP Clearinghouse, National Center for Appropriate Technology, LIHEAP Program Integrity Working Group Final Report, April 13, 2012, https://liheapch.acf.hhs.gov/admindocs/integrity-report.htm.

82.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Action Transmittal 2010-4, Implementing LIHEAP Outcome Performance Measures, March 17, 2010, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/implementing-liheap-outcome-performance-measures.

83.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Instructions for the LIHEAP Performance Data Form for FY 2016, December 19, 2016, p. 10, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocs/liheap_performance_data_form_instructions_for_fy2016_19dec2016_0.pdf.

84.

See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, "Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request," 78 Federal Register 34105-34106, June 6, 2013 and "Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request," 79 Federal Register 32550-32552, June 5, 2014.

85.

Carol A. Kunze, A Chronology of International Economic Events: Oil Prices, the System of International Exchange Rates, Conference Between Developing and Industrialized Countries, International Economic Summits and Related Events 1971-976, Archived Congressional Research Service Report, February 11, 1977.

86.

See, for example, U.S. Congress, Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, Federal Food Programs—1974, Part 6 Fuel Crisis Impact on Low Income and Elderly, 93rd Cong., 2nd sess., January 22 and 23, 1974, p. 706.

87.

Ibid., pp. 741-742.

88.

The bill originally proposing the new program was S. 3051, the Emergency Energy Conservation Economic Opportunity Amendments. An identical program was included in the final version of P.L. 93-644. When S. 3051 was introduced, its sponsor, Senator Javits, described the Maine program, as well as efforts in Vermont, and said "Through this bill, the sponsors seek to prompt a duplication nationally of such efforts at the earliest moment." See Senator Jacob Javits, Introduction of S. 3051, Congressional Record, vol. 120, part 3 (February 25, 1974), p. 4030.

89.

U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Community Services Administration, "Character and Scope of Specific Community Action Programs: Emergency Energy Conservation Program," 40 Federal Register 31603, July 28, 1975.

90.

The conference report, H.Rept. 94-239, provided that $7.5 million more than was available in the House-passed version of the bill ($9 million) be appropriated. Funds were added to the House-passed version (H.R. 5899) on the floor; see "Second Supplemental Appropriations Bill, 1975," House debate, Congressional Record, vol. 121, part 8 (April 15, 1975), pp. 10263-10266.

91.

In FY1978, funds were appropriated as part of the Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 95-205). Funding levels were specified in the FY1978 Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare funding bill (H.R. 7555); see the conference report (H.Rept. 95-538).

92.

See the House and Senate committee reports to accompany H.R. 8650 (H.Rept. 94-377 and S.Rept. 94-623), one of the bills from which provisions for the Weatherization Assistance Program were drawn. See U.S. Congress, Energy Conservation and Production, conference report to accompany H.R. 12169, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., August 4, 1976, H.Rept. 94-1392, pp. 88-91.

93.

See, for example, statement of Senator Edmund Muskie, Senate debate of the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1977, Congressional Record, vol. 123, part 8 (April 1, 1977), p. 10114. While many states imposed moratoriums on utility disconnections during the winter months, when spring arrived, large numbers of households faced shutoff. The Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations surveyed state utility commissions and utility to companies to determine the extent of disconnections. The results of the study were published in the Congressional Record, vol. 123, part 8 (April 1, 1977), pp. 10119-10122.

94.

Community Services Administration, "Special Crisis Intervention Program: Information, Application Procedures, and Post Grant Requirements for the Special Crisis Intervention Program," 42 Federal Register 33240, June 29, 1977.

95.

"Home Heating Assistance." In CQ Almanac 1979, 35th ed., 535-536. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1980, http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal79-1185945.

96.

U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Home Energy Assistance Act, 96th Cong., 1st sess., October 25, 1979, S.Rept. 96-378, p. 5.

97.

"Windfall Profits Tax." In CQ Almanac 1979, 35th ed., 609-632. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1980. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal79-1184031.

98.

The program in S. 1724 was incorporated into H.R. 3919, the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act, replacing an energy assistance program that had been proposed by the Senate Finance Committee.

99.

[author name scrubbed], Energy Assistance for Low-Income Households: 1979 and 1980 Legislation, Congressional Research Service Issue Brief, June 15, 1981, p. 18.

100.

CRS Memo, Poverty and Lower Living Standard Estimates, April 30, 1980.

101.

The Senate committee report, in describing the new program, stated that "the Committee does not want to burden States with unnecessary paperwork" and that "the general effect will be to return basic control and responsibility to the State level." See U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on the Budget, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, report to accompany S. 1377, 97th Cong., 1st sess., June 17, 1981, S.Rept. 97-139, pp. 908-911. S. 1377 was substituted for the House version (H.R. 3982) prior to enactment of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act. The framework for LIHEAP came from S. 1377. See CRS Mini Brief MB81227, Low-Income Energy Assistance Reauthorization: Proposals and Issues, by Ken Cahill, October 28, 1981, p. 6.

102.

U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Subcommittee on Aging, Family, and Human Services, Examination on the Ability of Existing Energy Assistance Programs to Provide Help for the Needs of Low-Income Individuals, Testimony of David Swoap, Under Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, 97th Cong., 1st sess., March 24, 1981, pp. 16-27.

103.

Some of the differences between LIEAP and LIHEAP regulations are discussed in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 1982, November 1, 1983, pp. 1-5.