LIHEAP Action Day brings attention to those in need of energy assistance
The national event focuses on the program’s critical role in providing vulnerable populations
access to utilities
ALABAMA (Feb. 21, 2022) — Spire is joining hundreds of people across the country for LIHEAP Action Day, an event to engage and educate policymakers around the critical need for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This national effort is organized by the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC).
“LIHEAP provides needed energy assistance for eligible families, typically surviving on a fixed income,” said Gail Cruz, Spire community services partner. “Funding is critical. According to the National Energy Assistance Director’s Association, nearly 90% of LIHEAP recipients have at least one household member who is a child, elderly or disabled. For these households, LIHEAP funding has been a lifeline during challenging economic times.”
Cruz and her team typically travel to Washington D.C. for LIHEAP Action Day. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meetings are taking place virtually this year.
“We travel to Washington D.C. representing many eligible families, who without LIHEAP, must choose between paying their energy bills, buying groceries, and paying their rent,” said Cruz. “LIHEAP protects families from disconnections and helps families maintain access to energy.”
Cruz said for some families, the need for LIHEAP is unexpected.
“We had a grieving mother contact us who had just lost her son,” she continued. “She and her adult son had lived together, and she depended on him to help her with her bills. She’d received a disconnect notice and needed help. We were able to work with the community action agency in her area to get her approved for a crisis LIHEAP benefit, and her account was paid in full.”
According to the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition, in 2020, more than 570,000 households in Alabama qualified for LIHEAP.
Enrollment for LIHEAP opened in October. Since then, Spire customers in Alabama have received more than $800,000 in LIHEAP funding. LIHEAP is open to eligible households through May.
Each year, Spire’s community support team conducts hundreds of LIHEAP outreach events with community agencies to increase awareness around the program and help individuals navigate the application process.
To learn more about LIHEAP and other Spire-sponsored energy assistance programs, visit SpireEnergy.com/Assistance.