Concerns Over the Allocation Methods Employed in the US Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Kaiser, Mark J.; Pulsipher, Allan G.
July 2006
Interfaces;Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p344
Academic Journal
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is the largest federal energy assistance program in the United States and forms an important component of the social safety net for low-income households. The manner in which LIHEAP funds are allocated to states has been a contentious issue since the inception of the program. The distribution of funds among states is not proportionate to the need for assistance based on commonly accepted standards of fairness, with states in the Northeast and Midwest receiving more, and states in the South and West, less than they should. We derived and evaluated the formula by which states receive LIHEAP funding, and we found that unanticipated circumstances, not congressional intent, have perpetuated an inequitable distribution. In 1984, Congress corrected the formula it had hastily enacted in 1981 using a rational and equitable allocation system. It also added provisions, however, that prevented the improved system from being activated. As Congress considers future reauthorizations of LIHEAP, it has three options: to fully implement the intent of the 1984 reform of the program; to acknowledge that LIHEAP is primarily a heating assistance program and adopt a heating-only formula to distribute LIHEAP funding; or to significantly increase LIHEAP funding. The history of LIHEAP appropriations does not imply that the reforms incorporated in the 1984 legislation should be thwarted; it implies that Congress should remove or reduce the legislative provisions that have produced the unintended result. Congress can fully implement the 1984 reform by removing the trigger appropriation or reducing the threshold to $1 billion or less.


Related Articles

  • (ADVOCATES) Lawmakers Urged to Increase LIHEAP Share in Energy Bill.  // Children & Youth Funding Report;7/10/2009, p7 

    The article reports that lawmakers are being urged by advocates to amend the newly passed cap-and-trade energy bill to include a larger amount of funding for energy assistance to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is a federal program which provides financial...

  • LI HEAP funding is critical for New England. Brett, James T. // New Hampshire Business Review;10/28/2005, Vol. 27 Issue 23, p23 

    The article explains that is essential for New England that U.S. Congress approve $4 billion for this year's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) before the end of the session. LIHEAP provides funding to assist low-income families pay for home heating. This is critical for New...

  • Should Coverage Under The Federal Minimum Wage Law Be Extended? PRO. Rosenthal, Morris S. // Congressional Digest;Jun/Jul57, Vol. 36 Issue 6/7, p178 

    The article presents a speech given by the author before the Sub-Committee on Labor of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare on March 8, 1957, commenting on proposed bills for broadening minimum wage coverage of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the author there is the...

  • STORY OF MINIMUM WAGE LEGISLATION.  // Congressional Digest;Jun/Jul57, Vol. 36 Issue 6/7, p165 

    The article discusses the background of minimum wage legislation in the U.S. The concept of establishing minimum wage rates and other labor standards by legislation developed in New Zealand and Australia at the end of the nineteenth century. Similar legislation in the form of a wage-board act...

  • Senate, House at odds over LIHEAP funding.  // American Gas;Aug98, Vol. 80 Issue 7, p11 

    Reports that the United States Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee has voted on June 24, 1998 to reauthorize the funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Senators who expressed their dismay about the House subcommittee action to eliminate program funding;...

  • Action needed for propane shortage. MATHIS, SEN. LIZ // Corridor Business Journal;3/3/2014, Vol. 10 Issue 32, p12 

    The author discusses SF 2110, an Iowa legislative bill that will sanction two million dollar emergency funding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP), which will help state pay for the poor citizen's solar energy bills.

  • The House Discusses the Tariff Bill. Con. Kitchin, Claude // Congressional Digest;May22, Vol. 1 Issue 8, p10 

    At a time when the cost of living is so high and unemployment so widespread that millions of people are finding it difficult to obtain means of subsistence, the U.S. Congress is asked to make dearer the commodities essential to support of human life. At the very time when extraordinary efforts...

  • ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE. Brier, M. William // Electric Perspectives;Jan/Feb2004, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p72 

    Advocates for the enactment of the comprehensive energy legislation currently under consideration by the U. S. Congress. Major provisions of the proposed legislation; Opinions expressed in the mass media regarding the legislation; Provisions in the bill for consumer energy assistance programs...

  • Letter to congressional leaders on the Low Income Home... Clinton, Bill // Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents;12/18/95, Vol. 31 Issue 50, p2187 

    Presents a letter to congressional leaders from the president of the United States Bill Clinton on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) needed by families on December 15, 1995.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics