Fund Programs to Improve Thermal Control in Homes and Support Residents

Having the financial resources to install, upgrade, and repair HVAC systems, install energy efficiency upgrades, weatherize and air seal a home, and pay utility bills can be significant barriers to residents with lower incomes. This section includes resources on programs that seek to address these issues.

Using Weatherization and Energy Assistance Programs to Provide Cooling Assistance 
For weatherization and LIHEAP program administrators at the state and local levels, local community development or other agencies and organizations, and utilities.
This brief from NCHH describes how some federally funded weatherization and energy assistance programs are providing cooling assistance to residents, as well as opportunities to expand these services specifically to confront rising temperatures and frequency of extreme heat events. [pdf; NCHH, 2022]

Establishing and Running a Local Home Repair Program
For housing and community development agencies and program administrators.
This technical assistance brief from NCHH provides an overview for local home repair programs. Many of these programs install and repair heating and cooling systems in homes. [pdf; NCHH, 2022]

Utility Bill Deferments Are Ending. Here’s a State-by-State List of Programs that Can Help
For residents.
This article from TIME and NextAdvisor provides an overview of utility bill moratoria in the time of COVID-19 and a list of programs by state. [url; Time, 2021]

Bolstering Federal Energy Assistance and Weatherization with State Clean Energy Programs
For program administrators, utilities, and state policymakers.
This article from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a summary of state efforts and approaches to provide funding for energy efficiency and energy assistance beyond the federal funding allocated by LIHEAP and WAP. [url; NCSL, 2021]

Some of the approaches featured in the article include:

  • Mandatory utility funding, where the state requires utilities to contribute funds to assist low-income residents with bills.
  • Voluntary contributions, where the state establishes programs to which residents/utility customers may contribute.
  • Targeted low-income energy efficiency programs, where states require utilities to establish energy efficiency programs to benefit low-income residents, set requirements that the utilities spend a certain amount of their budgets on energy efficiency, or impose other requirements on utility programs.
  • Outcomes-driven policymaking, where states set outcome requirements rather than requiring a certain amount of funding (for example, requiring that a certain amount of need is met by a certain year or that a certain percentage of benefits go to low-income residents).
  • Using income thresholds to expand programs, where states have expanded or added income requirements beyond the levels set by federal funding.

Collaboration with Local Utility Companies and Other Utility Assistance Programs
For state and local program administrators and utilities.
This page from the Treasury Department includes a list of city and state examples of communities partnering with utilities to increase reach and efficiency of programs, or to coordinate on utility assistance programs. [url; U.S. Treasury]


Latest page update: November 14, 2022.