Energy Assistance Program Grappling With Cuts
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Community Action Council’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, is facing a sizeable budget shortfall in 2013 and the group is unsure how it can make up for the lost funding.
Federal funding for the LIHEAP Crisis program is down 25 percent statewide and Community Action Council executive director Jack Burch says that comes as demand is growing.
"On our first day last year we helped 343 households. This year we helped 470. I haven't done the math... but it looks like the number of people who are coming in with cut off notices has gone way up," he says.
Last year LIHEAP helped 7,250 low-income residents with their utility bills. Burch says how long the funding lasts will depend in part on the mildness of this year’s winter months. The Community Action Council also relies on donations to fund LIHEAP.