Millions of American families struggle to afford basic necessities. For these families, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a vital source of aid, helping them pay their energy bills and avoid having to choose between energy and other essentials, like food or medicine. Access to affordable energy is a matter of health and safety.

Key Facts

Who Benefits from LIHEAP?

LIHEAP recipients are among America’s most vulnerable citizens: More than 70 percent of LIHEAP recipients include at least one person with a disability, a child under six years old, or a senior citizen.

Of households that receive LIHEAP assistance:

  • 40.89 percent are home to at least one senior citizen.
  • 37.75 percent are home to at least one person with a disability.
  • 16.09 percent are home to at least one child who is 6 years old or younger.

In 2021, more than 34 million households across the nation were eligible for LIHEAP assistance. Yet, only 5.4 million, or almost 16 percent of income-eligible households received basic help to pay their energy bills.

To be eligible for LIHEAP assistance, a family may only earn up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level—as of 2023, this is $37,290 annually for a family of three—or 60 percent of the state’s median income level.

How LIHEAP Works

  • LIHEAP is an essential, widely supported federal program that delivers critical short-term aid to some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
  • Unlike some federal assistance programs that see their funding increase with need, like Social Security or food stamps, LIHEAP funding must be appropriated annually by Congress.
  • LIHEAP distributes funding to states, territories, and tribal governments, which in turn use the funds to help low-income households in their jurisdictions with home heating and cooling costs. LIHEAP funds also are used for emergency situations and for weatherization services.

Providing Energy Bill Assistance

EEI’s member companies are committed to helping customers arrange payment plans, receive financial assistance, and connect with state and federal resources to help pay their energy bills. Click on your state to find the energy bill assistance and other resources that your electric company is offering.


Our Policy Platform

LIHEAP funding is authorized at $5.1 billion per year, and the President and Congress should ensure LIHEAP receives adequate appropriations to help millions of vulnerable Americans.