Biden admin announces how $91.7 million will assist La in home energy assistance
President Joe Biden's funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is expected to benefit Louisiana in several ways.
Louisiana is receiving a historic $91.7 million for home energy assistance and as part of a state-by-state breakdown of funding, the Administration reported that in addition to an annual appropriation of $50.3 million for Louisiana, the state received an additional $41.4 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan – close to double the state’s typical annual funding.
The total of $91.7 million is the highest amount Louisiana has ever received in LIHEAP to help families struggling with the costs of home heating.
The Biden Administration on Friday released the following notes on the program's expected benefits:
-The American Rescue Plan More Than Doubled LIHEAP Funding Nationally: In 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration and Congressional Democrats delivered $8 billion in LIHEAP funding nationally, more than doubling typical annual appropriations due to $4.5 billion provided by the American Rescue Plan.
This is the largest appropriation in a single year since the program was established in 1981.
These resources are already allowing states across the country to provide more home energy relief than ever before.
-The American Rescue Plan Provided Additional Historic Resources for Utility Relief Including the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program and State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund: The American Rescue Plan provided other critical resources that states and localities can use to address home energy costs.
ERA programs, which received an additional $21.5 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan, can provide help with past-due utility bills or ongoing assistance with energy costs to help distressed renters avoid shut-offs and keep current on expenses.
State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds can also be deployed to help deliver energy relief to families.
To ensure that these historic resources are distributed swiftly and equitably this winter, the Administration:
*Called on States to Plan Early: In November, the White House called on states, localities, and tribes to plan early to distribute American Rescue Plan funds to address home energy costs this winter.
*Secured Commitments from Utilities to Avoid Shut-offs and Expedite Aid: The White House called on utility companies to prevent devastating utility shut-offs and help expedite the delivery of unprecedented federal aid. So far, 14 major utility companies and a delivered fuel trade association have responded.
*Called for Coordination of LIHEAP and Emergency Rental Assistance Relief to Families: To maximize the impact of home heating assistance, the White House called for states, localities, and tribes to coordinate across programs including LIHEAP and ERA.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department issued guidance and co-hosted webinars on LIHEAP and ERA best practices that have attracted over 500 administrators – collectively representing 47 states, the District of Columbia, and 72 tribal governments.
More than 50 percent of these administrators now report they are coordinating across these programs.