$153 million in federal aid will go toward low-income Ohioans' energy bills
More than $153 million in aid from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families is going to low-income Ohioans to help with their energy bills, according to the White House.
Electricity costs are on the rise statewide, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said. The PUCO warned that the average price of electricity will increase approximately 58% to 88% due to increases in the energy market. The funding aims to help Ohioans keep up with high energy costs and stay warm this winter, while avoiding unsafe heating practices, the White House said.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps households pay heat bills, prevent energy shutoffs, reconnect services, make homes energy efficient and repair and replace heating equipment, according to the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Community Services.
The White House announced Tuesday it's investing $3.7 billion nationwide in LIHEAP. $153.6 million will go to assist low-income Ohioans, White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said.
“It’s going to go straight to the state of Ohio to help families cover their home energy costs with heating assistance, winter crisis weather assistance and summer crisis assistance," Landrieu said.
The program had a big impact last year, he said.
“Last year, this money lowered energy costs for 254,000 households in Ohio," Landrieu said, "and the average family saved over $312 on their annual bills.”
LIHEAP does not provide direct grants to individuals, Landrieu said. Instead, the funding will be dispersed by state governors.
The Administration for Children and Families is also launching a LIHEAP eligibility tool, according to the White House.
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program can also help with energy bills, according to LIHEAP. The program has provided more than $46 billion to support housing stability since 2020, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.