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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 25, 2022 05:02 PM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Home Energy Assistance Program Expansion
Rising energy costs have continued to stretch family budgets throughout the winter season. Utilities continue to increase across all sectors and access to heating is becoming too costly for families to afford.  Heating expenditures have continued to rise and the phrase “heat or eat” has become all too common.  It is unacceptable that families are being forced to choose between essential life-sustaining needs.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its 2021-22 winter outlook. The EIA report projected that the expected costs for families using heating oil, natural gas, and propane would increase by almost 30 percent.  Just as the EIA had forecasted, we have seen rates continue to increase over the course of this past winter.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was established by the federal government to assist states in making heating and cooling more affordable.  States can use these funds to assist individuals in paying for heating and cooling costs, crisis assistance, weatherization assistance, and other services that may help reduce the need for energy assistance.  Pennsylvania must do its part to make heating affordable for families, and we have the opportunity expand the income limitations to provide relief to families in need.
My goal is to raise the income limitations to help more working middle class families afford their heating bills. My legislation would expand home energy assistance eligibility levels beyond the current income limits to increase support to additional families.