WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Hampshire will get an additional $7.65 million for residents to reduce home heating costs after the Biden administration added $1 billion to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is federal program that provides payment and energy crisis assistance to low-income residents to pay for gas, electric, heating oil and other home heating sources. The latest allocation brings New Hampshire’s fiscal year 2023 LIHEAP appropriation to $41.5 million.
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation were among 36 lawmakers who signed a letter to the White House last week urging that the money be made available as quickly as possible.
LIHEAP is administered by states and accessed through local Community Action Program agencies.
Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size, and the availability of resources. [To find out about applying for LIHEAP money, visit capnh.org.]
There are more than 20,000 certified LIHEAP households in New Hampshire, and the program in the state has received an increase of 4,000 applications for heating assistance from the same time a year ago.
On top of the $900 million in LIHEAP funds allocated through the CARES Act in 2020, $4.5 billion for LIHEAP was included in the American Rescue Plan in March 2021, which provided more than $35 million for New Hampshire. The recent bipartisan infrastructure law included funding that led to the highest amount of LIHEAP assistance ever for New Hampshire over a 12-month period.
Sen Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee that funds LIHEAP. “Fuel assistance has been a crucial lifeline for Granite Staters over these winter months and amid tumultuous snowstorms,” Shaheen said in a news release. “No family should be forced to choose between putting food on the table or heating their home.”
Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., were among a bipartisan group of 32 senators who sent a letter to U.S Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra last week urging the immediate allocation of the remaining emergency LIHEAP money.
Hassan also worked with U.S. Sen Susan Collins, R-Maine, to help lower energy costs for families and reduce carbon emissions by expanding and extending a tax credit for energy-efficient home upgrades.
All four of the state’s congressional delegation, including Rep. Annie Kuster, D-2nd District, and Rep. Chris Pappas, D-1st District, spoke in support of the extra funding.