NH Delegation Celebrates $1 Billion in Emergency Funding for LIHEAP
Washington, September 29, 2022
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) in celebrating the inclusion of $1 billion in emergency funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in government funding legislation under consideration by the U.S. Senate. In August, the New Hampshire Delegation joined a bipartisan, bicameral push to increase emergency funding for LIHEAP.
Funding allocated through LIHEAP assists individuals and families with the costs of heating and cooling their homes and helps to mitigate the impacts of rising energy costs and extreme weather events. Across the nation, LIHEAP helps over 5.3 million households afford their energy bills.
“As we head toward the coldest months of the year, this additional funding for home heating assistance is so important,” said Senator Shaheen. “LIHEAP provides a lifeline for families hit hardest by high prices. No one should have to choose between heating their home and putting food on the table or buying other necessities. As we shore up our energy infrastructure and invest in efficiency to lessen the impact of volatile oil and natural gas prices, I will continue to support robust funding for LIHEAP.”
“With rising energy prices and challenges to our supply chain, Granite Staters will face increasingly high costs to heat their homes,” said Senator Hassan. “I was proud to work across the aisle to build bipartisan support for LIHEAP and get emergency funding included in this bill. This is one of the largest increases in LIHEAP funding that we have ever secured, and will go a long way to help New Hampshire families.”
“As electricity, natural gas, and heating oil costs remain high and the cold winter months approach, additional funding for LIHEAP is critical to ensuring Granite State families are able to keep their homes safe and warm,” said Representative Kuster. “I have called for increased funding for LIHEAP, which is a lifeline for those who struggle to afford their home energy costs. This additional funding will help New Hampshire families, but more work remains – I have urged the Biden administration to release supply from the home heating oil reserve as soon as possible. I will continue working to bring down energy costs and ease the burden of high prices on Granite Staters.”
“As winter approaches it is critical that all families are able to keep their heat on and pay their bills in the months ahead,” said Representative Pappas. “LIHEAP is an essential program that helps keep families safe, healthy, and warm in the Granite State, and I’m pleased the additional funding I called for is being provided in the government funding legislation. In addition to these needed funds, I continue to call on the administration to take further action to lower energy costs, restrict exports, and increase domestic supply. I will always advocate for programs such as LIHEAP that have a long history of serving our families and communities.”
In addition to this $1 billion in emergency funding, the FY 2023 proposal includes $4 billion for LIHEAP, which is an increase of $200 million over FY 2022. On top of the $900 million in LIHEAP funds allocated through the CARES Act in 2020, Shaheen and Hassan worked to secure $4.5 billion for LIHEAP in the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law in March 2021 and provided $35,498,757 to New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen also used her role on appropriations and as a lead negotiator for the bipartisan infrastructure bill to push to increase LIHEAP funding for Granite State families, leading to the highest total of LIHEAP funding ever received in a 12-month period in New Hampshire history. Following the June announcement of electric rate increases approved by New Hampshire’s Public Utilities Commission, the New Hampshire Delegation urged the state to use the remaining funding secured in the American Rescue Plan to provide financial assistance to help Granite Staters afford their home energy bills.
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has prioritized ensuring Granite State families and seniors have access to heating and energy assistance. Senator Shaheen championed increases in funding for key programs to assist Granite State families with home heating bills, efficiency upgrades and emergency situations in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Senate government funding proposal released in August.
Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to bring down energy costs for Granite Staters. During negotiations on the government funding legislation, Senator Hassan worked closely with Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress to build bipartisan support for LIHEAP funding. Earlier this month, Senator Hassan led the New England delegation in calling on President Biden to lower energy costs by releasing oil from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. Senator Hassan successfully included in the Inflation Reduction Act her measure with Susan Collins (R-ME) to help lower energy costs for families and reduce carbon emissions by expanding and extending a tax credit for energy efficient home upgrades.