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EOC, National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition Urge Continued LIHEAP Funding

20 Apr. 2017

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EOC, National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition Urge Continued LIHEAP Funding

Energy Outreach Colorado is among more than 1,000 organizations voicing their support of the national Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which subsidizes home heating and cooling costs for low-income families, seniors and individuals with special needs.

The preliminary federal spending plan released by President Trump last month dramatically cuts LIHEAP funding, which has been appropriated annually through Congress since 1981. For the current year, Colorado’s share of the LIHEAP appropriation is about $45 million, which will help around 80,000 local households. Many of those helped by LIHEAP live in less efficient housing and have such low incomes that they pay a disproportionate amount of their income for home energy.

In Colorado, LIHEAP funding is administered through the Colorado Dept. of Human Services’ Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Energy Outreach Colorado partners with LEAP and other assistance organizations across Colorado to provide energy bill payment assistance and emergency furnace repair to low-income families and seniors.

Because of the ongoing uncertainty of LIHEAP funding, Colorado lawmakers established Energy Outreach Colorado as a nonprofit nearly three decades ago to ensure more stable funding for energy assistance in Colorado. Together, LEAP and EOC have worked together to help hundreds of thousands of low-income Coloradans remain warm and safe at home.

As members of the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition, Energy Outreach and hundreds of other nonprofits, utility companies and advocacy groups are asking the House and Senate appropriators to continue to make LIHEAP funding a priority.

“Strong LIHEAP funding is necessary if this program is to continue to allow states and their charitable partners to serve America’s most vulnerable households,” states a NEUAC-sponsored letter to Congress.

More information is available at https://neuac.org/advocacy/save-liheap/save-liheap

3-2014 LIHEAP actiondayedit

EOC Executive Director Skip Arnold, right, talks with U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, far left,
about the positive impacts of LIHEAP during a previous NEUAC Action Day in
Washington, D.C.

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