Mayors of major cities seek more money for LIHEAP
Originally published February 27, 2014
Citing a significant uptick in extreme weather conditions over the past year, the mayors of 18 major cities across the country, including the public power cities of Los Angeles and Riverside, Calif., wrote President Obama requesting that he include at least $4.7 billion in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in his budget for fiscal year 2015.
Funding for LIHEAP has declined more than 30 percent in recent years, from $5.1 billion in 2010 to $3.4 billion in fiscal 2014, the mayors said in their Feb. 24 letter. The average LIHEAP payment has fallen by more than $100 since 2010, dropping from $520 in fiscal year 2010 to $406 in fiscal year 2013. During this period, the number of households served fell from approximately 8.1 million to 6.7 million, they said.
"Many states are expressing concern that demand is quickly outstripping their resources as local LIHEAP offices face unprecedented requests for assistance," the mayors said. The Energy Information Administration projected that the cost of home heating this winter will rise by 6 percent, to $977, they said.
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