FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 31, 2017) – Approximately 150,000 Kentucky families pay their heating bills each winter through a state program that could lose funding in the 2018 federal budget, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said today.
Beshear is joining other state attorneys general and consumer advocates in calling on congressional leaders to preserve and expand funds to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP.
The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services allocates funding to Kentucky, which contracts with community action agencies across the state to receive LIHEAP applications and provide the 150,000 families benefits.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program or WAP enables low-income Kentucky families the opportunity to lower their energy bills by making homes more energy efficient. Community Action Kentucky, in partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation, administers WAP in Kentucky through its network of 23 community action agencies with offices located in all 120 counties.
Beshear said WAP funding is also on the chopping block in the proposed federal budget.
The “funds have provided a critical lifeline to customers who struggle each month to pay for life’s necessities by assisting them to remain connected to essential utility services,” according to the AG’s July 31 letter. “We strongly urge you to oppose any measure that would reduce or eliminate funding for these critical programs, and instead increase these essential and cost-effective services.”
Nationally, LIHEAP is expected to assist nearly 6.1 million households in the current fiscal year. In the last 40 years, WAP funds have served 7 million households nationwide with the installation of energy efficient measures.