LIHEAP Weirdness

Interesting national news story today about shifts this winter in Federal funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  There are so many things in this story to comment on that it may require several posts.  But this was what grabbed me first:

“Emergency funding more than tripled for Florida and Georgia, and more than doubled in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas… Even Puerto Rico picked up $540,000 under the formula.”

I really did a double-take.  After considering some of the other absurdities of the world, I was eventually able to wrap my mind around the idea of Florida getting emergency heating aid funds, crazy as it seems.  But I am completely perplexed by Puerto Rico.  I thought perhaps the LIHEAP money for P.R. (and maybe for Florida, too) goes for emergency cooling in the summer, not heating in the winter– that would make more sense, and after all the title of the program is “energy assistance”, not “heating assistance”.  So I tried to look this up, but the answer wasn’t easily found.  I did find this chart straight from the LIHEAP website:

You can see what it says:  “Cooling: 16 States.  Heating: 51 States.”  At minimum that means Hawaii is getting assistance to stay warm, which is strange enough.  Is the “51st state” referenced indeed Puerto Rico?  Or is that Washington, D.C.?  Unclear.  But a bit of research shows that the average January low in San Juan is 70ºF, and the record low of 62º.  So if they indeed need any heat, let alone emergency heating assistance, I’m baffled!  Maybe someone out there can comment.

3 Responses to “LIHEAP Weirdness”

  1. Kay Kalidja Says:

    One year, and every penny counted. The gas company was charging me $25. 00 a month in the summer. Nothing was using gas. Just for the courtesy to have gas to my house. I said. Turn it off. I was not going to pay #25.00 a month for something all summer, I was not using. I never did turn it back on. This was in Missoula Montana
    I had a room heater for the bathroom when it got too cold. Everyone in the house worked and at night we had blankets. You do what you got to do.

  2. icerabbit Says:

    Very interesting observations.

    Right now I’m just perplexed there are 5 mio households that receive heating assistance.

  3. adelina Says:

    This is my dilemma, I have stated before I do not turn on my gas to heat my house. I find it to be luxury that should be over come. I have my gas bill in ‘budget billing’ yet I am charged $76 a month to use gas to cook with and for my hot water. 1. I do not shower that often (not that I DON’T SHOWER :-)) to see the bill being that high. I cook often, but not often enough that I wonder why is this bill so high!?

    I recently lost my job and when I applied for LIHEAP I was told that with my unemployment about $250 a week that I make to much to get assistance.

    So now my question is, after this rambling paragraph, for someone who ALREADY doesn’t use gas to heat her home, what can I do to cut down my gas bill.

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