Insights > LIHEAP Funding Increase a Win for Low-Income Customers
LIHEAP Funding Increase a Win for Low-Income Customers
Entergy and its partner advocates have uplifting news for low-income customers who struggle with energy bills. In the past two fiscal years, Congress has boosted funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by $300 million, with a larger portion allocated for vulnerable customers in Entergy’s four-state service area.
The most recent spending package for fiscal year 2019 included a $50 million increase for LIHEAP, which raised funding for the program from $3.64 billion to $3.69 billion.
The bill also allocated $37.5 million, or 75 percent, to LIHEAP’s “new formula,” which largely benefits warm-weather states in the Southeast and Southwest. That means more than 19 percent of LIHEAP funding will now go through the new formula to benefit Entergy customers, up from 14 percent two years ago.
Entergy estimates these changes will result in more than $100 million in additional assistance for energy customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, helping hundreds of thousands of vulnerable households in the region. The two-year cumulative funding benefit is estimated to be more than $530 million for consumers in those states.
Entergy is a longstanding champion of LIHEAP, a critical service that helps low-income residents manage their heating and cooling costs. The program is literally a lifesaver for many, as increasingly severe temperatures can threaten the health and welfare of the approximately 25 percent of Entergy customers who live in poverty. LIHEAP generally serves households earning up to 150 percent of poverty income, adjusted for family size.
Every year, Entergy and its partner advocates participate in LIHEAP Action Day in Washington, D.C., to meet in person with congressional offices and advocate for better funding. Entergy also supports low-income customers through The Power to Care, which helps fill in the gaps not covered by LIHEAP by offering one-time bill payment assistance to neighbors in need.