The Value of Adding Home Energy Score to Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It provides funding to reduce the costs of energy bills, relieve energy crises, and, depending on the state, complete weatherization upgrades. LIHEAP funds are administered by states, and distributed either directly by the state or through local partners. Individuals can access funding based on their location, income, costs, family size, and other factors. Local offices must prioritize households with members that are elderly, disabled, or with young children. Up to 15 percent of LIHEAP funds can be transferred to WAP for energy efficiency upgrades. Results from a survey of 624 LIHEAP households found that average benefits distributed were $307 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, and that the energy burden in participating households decreased to 19 percent from 23percent pre-LIHEAP. Fifty-four percent of respondents credited LIHEAP for their ability to keep their homes at safe and healthy temperatures. Due to limited funding, only about 20percentof households that are eligible for LIHEAP receive benefits.