NH Delegation Calls On State To Help Granite States Pay Home Energy Bills With Federal Funding
June 17, 2022
(Washington, DC) – Following the announcement this week of energy rate increases approved by the New Hampshire Utilities Commission, US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) are urging the state to use the remaining funds that the Delection helped secure in the US bailout to provide financial assistance to help Granite Staters pay their home energy bills.
As the chief negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Shaheen pushed to increase Funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for Granite State families, leading to the highest total of LIHEAP funding never received in a 12 month period in NH history.
Additionally, in March, Shaheen joined Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Chris Coons (D-DE) in introducing the bipartisan Weatherization Assistance Program Enhancement Act. This program serves to expand access to weatherization service to low-income households who currently do not qualify for weatherization services due to their homes in need of major repairs.
Read the full letter from the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation here or below:
Following this week’s announcement of rate increases approved by the New Hampshire Utilities Commission, we are writing to encourage the state to use the remaining funding we helped secure under the American Rescue (ARP) to provide financial assistance to help Granite Staters pay their home energy bills.
A number of federal programs are already helping people across the state pay their energy bills. The Low income The Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides New Hampshire families and households with assistance to pay their home energy bills. We helped secure more than $94 million in LIHEAP funding for the state in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, nearly double what the state received in the previous two years. We continue to push for additional, solid LIHEAP and weatherization funding again this year. The Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the Federal Homeowners Assistance Fund can also be used by eligible households to help pay energy costs and other utility bills; we’ve helped ensure New Hampshire receives hundreds of millions of dollars for these programs since 2020.
Additionally, we fought to ensure that New Hampshire receives nearly $1 billion from the state’s ARP fiscal stimulus fund — money that can be used to help pay utility bills. energy. Congress has allocated this money to help support state and local government responses to the impacts of the pandemic and minimize damage to our communities and economy. Helping families pay their electricity bills is a specifically listed eligible use of money from the State Fiscal Stimulus Fund.
The state should now use the money left over from that initial $1 billion federal allocation to establish a home energy cost assistance program to complement LIHEAP, including helping households that have low utility bills. domestic energy but which are not eligible according to the LIHEAP criteria. The state has the discretion to use these federal funds and design such a program. We urge the state to move quickly to provide this relief to Granite Staters when rate increases approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission take effect.