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PUC Urges Preservation of Federal Funding for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program

Authored By: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Information

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has encouraged members of the Commonwealth’s Congressional delegation to continue federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Recommendations to eliminate funding for both of these programs are included in the President’s preliminary budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018.

The Commissioners’ letter notes that LIHEAP assists approximately 345,000 low-income Pennsylvania residents, helping to reduce high winter heating bills. Additionally, WAP funding provides energy efficient improvements for high-risk and high-use consumers; helping approximately 1,500 households per year reduce their energy costs and improve their quality of life.

The Commissioners emphasized that the LIHEAP and WAP programs are critical parts of the “safety net” for vulnerable consumers – helping older residents, struggling families, and individuals living with disabilities stay warm and safe during the winter months. Their letter encourages Congress to continue funding at least at the current level. The Commissioners joined with Governor Wolf and others in supporting retention of these important programs.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.