CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

ADVISORY: Baby It’s Cold Inside: Low-Income Families, Winter Heating, and Federal Assistance Programs

September 17, 2008, 10:00am – 11:15am

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277
Email: mmeth@americanprogress.org

As winter rapidly approaches, the nation is still rebounding from this summer’s record high crude oil prices. These cost surges affect families at the pump, but also take their toll on home energy costs. Steadily rising utility bills have a disproportionate impact on those with little room in their budgets for additional expenses, causing them to make sacrifices on other necessities such as food and medicine just to stay warm.

Currently, the largest federal programs designed to address the problem are 1) the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which provides home energy income supplements to low-income households and 2) the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP, which reduces the need for LIHEAP by making the homes of low-income families more energy efficient via appropriate retrofits. Investment in the latter strategy not only lowers energy bills, but offers the added benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs for communities experiencing economic hardship in the current economy.

Unfortunately, both programs are unable to address the severity of the need as chronic underfunding leads to long waiting lists for services and reduced purchasing power for the income assistance provided to LIHEAP families and seniors.

This panel will examine the impact of rising home energy costs on low-income households. It will also explore what Congress and the president can do to strengthen the ability of LIHEAP to provide vulnerable homes with needed assistance this winter while also ensuring that WAP investments reduce costs in future winters.

Featured Panelists:

Warren Gunnels, senior policy advisor to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Meg Power, president and executive director, Economic Opportunity Studies; consultant, National Community Action Foundation

Mark Wolfe, executive director, National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association

Moderated by:

Joy Moses, Policy Analyst, Poverty Program, Center for American Progress

Click here to RSVP for this event

Location

Center for American Progress 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005

Map & Directions Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org