January 31, 2014

Manchin, Rockefeller, Rahall Announce $3.8 Million to Assist Households with Energy Costs

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Congressman Nick Rahall (all D-W.Va.), announced West Virginia will receive $3,857,811 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help West Virginians meet their energy costs. These funds offer additional support for West Virginia’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and will assist hundreds of thousands of low-income households with home energy assistance this winter and summer.

“As America still faces an anemic economy, many West Virginians are doing their best to make ends meet, but sometimes it’s harder to balance the checkbooks at the end of the month, especially at times when our energy costs remain unforgivingly high,” Senator Manchin said. “I am pleased that this funding will help eligible West Virginians keep their homes warmer this winter and cooler during the summertime.”

“When our winters are especially tough like this year, we are reminded of the importance of a warm home,” Senator Rockefeller said. “Unfortunately, this comfort can run up West Virginians’ electric bills forcing some families to choose between keeping their kids warm or putting food on the table. This funding is well-timed and critically important relief for those families most in need this winter.”

“Without such an important safety net program like LIHEAP, some of our most vulnerable citizens, especially seniors, would be forced into possibly life-threatening situations, having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families,” said Rahall, who has pressed the Congress to fully fund LIHEAP. “These funds will be a welcome relief, helping many West Virginians stay warm during this particularly harsh winter.”

Senators Manchin and Rockefeller fought to make Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program a top priority as forthcoming budget proposals were drafted. In the fall, they sent letters to Senate leadership and Appropriations Committee chairs, along with letters to HHS Secretary Sebelius and the White House.