NEUAC Policy Statements

NEUAC’s influence on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

NEUAC strongly urged those writing the 111D guidelines to take into account the particular needs of low-income households and the nature of their energy burdens. Representatives of our coalition met with the team writing the rules at the EPA and on the White House staff in March 2015.

The EPA heard us and created a voluntary matching fund program states can use to encourage energy efficiency projects in low-income communities. We are continuing to work with the Clean Power Plan outreach team to help highlight and replicate initiatives that are helping low-income energy consumers.

NEUAC strongly urges the Dept. of Energy to carefully consider low-income consumers in its proposed guidelines new furnace efficiency rules.

NEUAC representatives understand that energy efficiency is an important tool in reducing the energy burden for struggling households. Many of our members work in the energy efficiency and weatherization arenas. However, higher energy and energy-related costs have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable households, many of which currently pay as much as half their total income on home energy.

NEUAC coalition members believe there is opportunity for low-income consumers to benefit from higher furnace efficiency, but this group of low-income consumers will need extraordinary consideration to ensure they have reasonable access to supports that would mitigate the cost of new furnace technology.

NEUAC advocates urge Congress to increase LIHEAP funding to $4.7 billion.

Unlike entitlement programs that receive increases with growth in the eligible population, LIHEAP does not and goes through Congressional review and approval annually. LIHEAP advocates are asking Congress to restore funding to $4.7 billion.

Today, only one in five eligible households have been helped in 2014 because LIHEAP funding has declined more than 35 percent since 2010. While $4.7 billion is not full funding, it will ensure many more families, veterans, and the disabled will be able to afford heat this winter and cooling next summer.

This small Federal program has a multiplier effect. When struggling families can afford energy, they remain in their homes, children are in stable schooling and seniors and veterans maintain access to service providers.