Physical Environment Air & Water Quality Housing & Transit Search Policies & Programs

hints
Display All Policies & Programs

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Health Factors: Housing & Transit
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals State Government Federal Government
Evidence Rating: Expert Opinion
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.

Description

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) helps low income households meet their home energy needs. LIHEAP focuses on helping vulnerable households, those with at least one member that is young, disabled, or elderly, and high burden households, those with the lowest incomes and highest home energy costs. LIHEAP is administered by the Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families, in the Department of Health and Human Services; states and territories can apply for block grants (US DHHS-LIHEAP).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced energy expenditures
Improved health outcomes

Evidence of Effectiveness

LIHEAP is a suggested strategy to alleviate the financial burden of energy costs for the lowest income and most vulnerable households (APPRISE-LIHEAP 2005, Frank 2006, Kuholski 2010). LIHEAP participation appears to be most beneficial for families with the highest risk of food insecurity and who are more likely to have low birthweight children (Frank 2006). Receiving LIHEAP benefits is also associated with improvements in children’s growth and health (Frank 2006, Kuholski 2010). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects. 

Some researchers recommend increasing LIHEAP funds, which are not sufficient to serve all income-eligible households (Frank 2006) and changing the allocation of funds to be more equitable among states (Kaiser 2006).

Implementation

United States

Grants are awarded to territories, tribes, and all states based on low income population and climate (US DHHS-LIHEAP). The US Office of Community Services (OCS), Division of Energy Assistance (DEA) provided $3 billion in funding for LIHEAP in fiscal year 2016 (LIHEAP Clearinghouse-Funding). The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has an interactive database map of state and local energy-efficient policies and programs (ACEEE-Energy policies).

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) offers financial assistance for heating and electricity bills to eligible families, assisting roughly 230,000 households annually. In addition to regular heating and electric assistance, services include: (1) emergency fuel assistance; (2) counseling for energy conservation and budgeting; (3) co-payment plans; and (4) emergency furnace repair and replacement (Home Energy Plus-WHEAP).

Implementation Resources

ACEEE-SmarterHouse - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). SmarterHouse: an up-to-date guide on energy savings in the home. Accessed on July 27, 2016
ChangeLab-Housing toolkit 2015 - ChangeLab Solutions. Preserving, protecting, and expanding affordable housing: A policy toolkit for public health. 2015. Accessed on October 24, 2016
LIHEAP-State data - Campaign for Home Energy Assistance. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): State data center. Accessed on March 10, 2016
LISC-Affordable housing - Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Helping neighbors build communities: Affordable housing. Accessed on May 19, 2017
US DHHS-LIHEAP - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Administration for Children & Families (ACF). Low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP). Accessed on March 13, 2017

Citations - Description

US DHHS-LIHEAP - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Administration for Children & Families (ACF). Low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP). Accessed on March 13, 2017

Citations - Evidence

APPRISE-LIHEAP 2005 - Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE). LIHEAP Energy burden evaluation study: Final report. Princeton: Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE); 2005. Accessed on December 1, 2015
Frank 2006 - Frank D, Neault NB, Skalicky A, et al. Heat or eat: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and nutritional and health risks among children less than 3 years of age. Pediatrics. 2006;118(5):1293-1302. Accessed on February 5, 2016
Kaiser 2006* - Kaiser MJ, Pulsipher AG. Concerns over the allocation methods employed in the US Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program. Interfaces. 2006;36(4):344-58. Accessed on March 3, 2016
Kuholski 2010* - Kuholski K, Tohn E, Morley R. Healthy energy-efficient housing: Using a one-touch approach to maximize public health, energy, and housing programs and policies. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 2010;16(5 Suppl):S68–74. Accessed on March 1, 2016

Citations - Implementation

ACEEE-Energy policies - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). State and local policy database of energy efficiency policies and programs. Accessed on March 14, 2016
Home Energy Plus-WHEAP - Home Energy Plus. Wisconsin home energy assistance program (WHEAP). Accessed on February 17, 2016
LIHEAP Clearinghouse-Funding -

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Clearinghouse. LIHEAP and WAP funding, FY 2016.

Accessed on March 10, 2016
US DHHS-LIHEAP - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Administration for Children & Families (ACF). Low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP). Accessed on March 13, 2017

Page Last Updated

March 16, 2016

* Journal subscription may be required for access.