LIHEAP Action Day
Take Action to Restore LIHEAP Funding to $5.1 Billion
LIHEAP Supporters Visit Over 165 Congressional Offices on Summer Action Day
The NFFN’s Summer LIHEAP Action Day drew about 70 participants from across the country to Washington for a day of advocacy on behalf of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Advocates visited at least 165 offices and carried the message that LIHEAP needs to be funded at $5.1 billion in order for it to continue to be an effective year round energy assistance program. [View CEDA's Summer LIHEAP Action Day 2012 Guide]
NFFN Board Chair Marsha Belcher, in a video news release, urged members of Congress to increase funding for this vital safety net program.
Summer LIHEAP Action Day concluded with a reception in the Capitol Visitors Center where Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) was presented with the NFFN’s Extra Mile Award for his support of LIHEAP during the past year.
An album of photographs from Summer LIHEAP Action Day can be viewed on the NFFN Facebook page.
In Michigan, the Detroit News ran an op-ed piece supporting LIHEAP that was co-authored by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). View the full article.
SAVE THE DATE
Next Action Day for LIHEAP:
Action Day for LIHEAP
April 10, 2013
Registration Coming Soon!
10th Annual LIHEAP Action Day Brings Advocates to Capitol Hill
The National Fuel Funds Network’s 10th annual LIHEAP Action Day drew more than 130 supporters of the federal energy assistance program to Washington for a day of grassroots lobbying aimed at preserving funding for the vital safety net program.
LIHEAP Action Day participants took part in 150 meetings with Senators, Representatives and their staffs where they explained the importance of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to the millions of households that receive help with their home energy bills. They also urged the members of Congress to provide $5.1 billion for LIHEAP for FY 2013.
President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal, which was released two days before LIHEAP Action Day, included only $3.020 billion for LIHEAP. Reducing funding for LIHEAP to this level would leave millions of Americans without assistance.
Speaking at a Capitol Hill news conference, NFFN Board Chairman Tom Stovall expressed his “disappointment” with the President’s budget request and announced that the NFFN was launching an on-line petition drive to urge Congress to fund LIHEAP at $5.1 billion. Online petition.
During the news conference Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) announced that he had introduced legislation that would increase the level of funding for and expand availability to LIHEAP. The Energy Assistance for American Families Act would increase the authorized funding level for LIHEAP to $7.6 billion per year for fiscal years 2013 to 2016, an increase of $2.5 billion over the last authorized level, enacted in 2005.
The bill would also extend the expanded eligibility levels that were included in the omnibus appropriations bills for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 – giving states the option of helping families with incomes up to 75 percent of the state median income level.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Larson (D-CT) and Peter Welch (D-VT), all of whom participated in the news conference. Rep. DeLauro, the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, expressed her support for the legislation and vowed to fight against cuts to LIHEAP funding for FY 2013.
NEADA executive director Mark Wolfe revealed that a recent survey found that one out of every five households, that receive aid through LIHEAP, contain a veteran. The number of veterans receiving federal energy assistance has increased from 12 percent of total recipients to 20 percent since 2008, increasing from 695,760 in FY 2008 to 1.78 million in FY 2011, Wolfe said.
Wolfe also told reporters that 12 percent of all veterans receiving LIHEAP have served in Iraq or Afghanistan and seven percent of military families are currently serving in the military.
Former LIHEAP recipient Eric Lopez, a former Marine from Colorado explained to reporters how he had to turn to LIHEAP for help after he lost his job. Lopez said he not only received assistance with his utility bills but also got his home weatherized. He later was hired by the company that weatherized his home.
LIHEAP Action Day started with a welcome from Stovall and messages from American Gas Association President and CEO Dave McCurdy and Larry Borgard, the President and COO of Utilities, Integrys Energy Group and Chairman of the AGA Board of Directors.
Before participants began their meetings on Capitol Hill, time was taken to present Rep. Peter King (R-NY) with the NFFN’s 2011 Extra Mile award for his long standing support of LIHEAP.
Last year, Rep. King and Rep. Ed Markey co-authored a Dear Colleague letter urging the members of the House to maintain level funding for LIHEAP.
In Minneapolis, Mayor R.T. Rybak proclaimed February 15 “LIHEAP Day” and Community Action of Minneapolis’ Energy Services Division hosted a rally outside of their offices. Rally speakers included State Representative Karen Clark, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Minneapolis City Council member Cam Gordon and Fenton Hyacinthe, the agency’s Energy Service Director.
Also attending the rally were representatives from the office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the state Department of Commerce, CenterPoint Energy, Xcel Energy and 50 community leaders and energy assistance advocates.
To watch a video of the LIHEAP Action Day news conference visit:
National Fuel Funds Network Chair Calls Proposed LIHEAP Cuts Cold-Hearted or Misguided
For Immediate Release
Statement of Tom Stovall,
Chairman of the Board of Directors
National Fuel Funds Network
The National Fuel Funds Network was deeply disturbed by President Obama’s proposal to reduce funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to $3.020 billion for FY 2013. The White House budget proposal to reduce LIHEAP funding by $452 million for the next fiscal year would have a devastating effect on this vital program and the millions of households it serves.
At a time when one in every seven Americans is living in poverty, when millions of Americans are out of work and millions more are underemployed and when applications for energy assistance are at an all-time high, reducing funding for LIHEAP can only be described as either callous and cold-hearted or misguided. Funding cuts of the magnitude proposed by the President will leave millions of people, including many who are elderly or disabled, facing the prospect of trying to live without the most basic of needs.
NFFN members and LIHEAP supporters are coming to Washington on February 15 to lobby Congress to disregard the President’s proposed cuts and provide $5.1 billion for LIHEAP for FY 2013. We will work throughout the appropriations process to ensure that adequate funding is provided for this life-line program.
The National Fuel Funds Network is a non-profit organization whose more than 300 members include charitably funded energy assistance programs, which raise and distribute more than $150 million in energy assistance grants annually.
For more information contact: Ivan Brandon 240 338-6862
Toolkit for LIHEAP Action Day
NFFN has produced a Toolkit for NFFN's LIHEAP Action Day. It assists advocates who cannot participate in the Washington events to develop supporting activities at the grassroots level.
On January 20, 2012 George Coling of NFFN, Louis Gonzalez of Florida Power and Light and Linda Barnes of Entergy presented a national webinar on NFFN's LIHEAP Action Day. Their respective presentations are below. Please review them to learn how you can benefit from participating in LIHEAP Action Day, either in Washington or in you local community with a local supporting event.
NFFN's LIHEAP Action Day Sponsors
Links for Energy Assistance
Federal Energy Assistance
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) of US government provides financial assistance for heating and cooling bills to eligible households.
To locate an agnecy providing federal aid, call National Energy Assistance Referral Line (Call for your local assistance contacts) 1-866-674-6327 or visit the federal LIHEAP website.
Charitable Energy Assistance
Members of the National Fuel Funds Network provide energy assistance that is donated through charitable contributions. This assistance generally supplements federal aid. To reach a charitable energy assistance program, click on one of the agency logos below, if that agency is in your area.
Also visit: NFFN Member Index or call the customer service number of your local utility and ask for a referral to a fuel fund or charitable energy assistance program.
- $1 Energy Fund Pittsburgh, PA
- Crisis Assistance Ministry Charlotte, NC
- EnergyCare St. Louis
- Energy Outreach Colorado Denver, CO
- Fuel Fund of Maryland Baltimore, MD
- Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund Madison, WI
- HeartShare Neighborhood Heating Fund New York, NY
- Mid America Assistance Coalition Kansas City, MO
- Minnesota HeatShare various locations, Minnesota
- Minnesota Reach Out for Warmth Fuel Fund St. Coud, MN
- NJ SHARES Ewing, NJ (Statewide Heating & Referral for Energy Services)
- Operation Fuel Bloomfield, Connecticut
- Oregon Heat Tualatin, OR
- The Heat and Warmth (THAW) Fund Detroit, MI
- Utility Emergency Services Fund Philadelphia, PA