On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), announced the release of nearly $3.7 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding to help households in need with their home energy costs. With the winter months fast approaching, LIHEAP will assist low-income households in paying for utilities in order to stay warm during the cold winter months.

“LIHEAP is critical to lowering energy costs for families, and protecting the health and safety of households, particularly those that include older adults, individuals with disabilities, and young children,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release. “With additional support from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this essential program will help households keep the heat on in the winter and stay cool in the summer while still being able to afford other essentials necessary for good health like food, medicine, and housing.”  

To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested nearly $22 billion in LIHEAP in order to lower costs for American families across multiple spectrums under the Investing in America agenda. Administered by the ACF’s Office of Community Services (OCS), LIHEAP will be part of the OCS funding to states, tribes and territories to assist families and individuals with heating assistance, cooling assistance, home energy equipment repair and replacement and minor energy-related home repairs.  

 “LIHEAP is a lifeline for households across the country who need support with their home energy bills,” said ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Jeff Hild. “Last year alone LIHEAP served more than six million households. By helping to alleviate the burden of home energy costs, LIHEAP advances ACF’s mission to promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, and communities.”  

ACF also created a LIHEAP eligibility tool, a user-friendly tool that allows households across the U.S. to see if they’re eligible for LIHEAP assistance. The tool is available in Spanish and both traditional and simplified Chinese. Individuals and families who are interested in applying for LIHEAP can also visit energyhelp.us or call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) hotline toll-free at 866-674-6327.

“We know that for families and individuals with low incomes, many of whom work overtime or work multiple jobs to make ends meet, it can often be difficult and time consuming to figure out if they meet the eligibility requirements for a specific program,” said OCS Director Dr. Lanikque Howard. “The LIHEAP eligibility tool alleviates some of this burden by allowing households to more quickly identify if they might be eligible in their service area.”