Income & Asset Building

# households under threat of utility disconnect served through crisis energy assistance (YTD)

6,013Jun 2022

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Story Behind the Curve

CMCA's LIHEAP Progam keeps families safe and healthy by assisting with energy costs, allowing families to avoid or recover from crisis situations.  The LIHEAP program includes two components - Energy Assistance (EA), which provides a one-time payment for primary heating bills, and the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP), which assists families whose utilities have been shut off or have been threatened to be shut off. 

Data in the graph above indicates the number of households under threat of utility disconnect receiving crisis utility assistance through CMCA's ECIP program.  Note that most households that have been approved for the EA program are automatically approved for the ECIP program, meaning that households receiving ECIP may have also received EA.

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Why Is This Important?

Low-income households spend 13.9% of their annual income on energy costs, compared to 3.0% for other households.  Nationally, one in three households face challenges in meeting energy needs, with 25 million households going without food or medicine in order to pay their utility bills.  Approximately 7 million households received utility disconnection notices.  CMCA's LIHEAP Progam keeps families safe and healthy by assisting with energy costs, allowing families to avoid or recover from crisis situations.    

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Sources:

1. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy . (2021, January). Weatherization Assistance Program.

2. U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2018, September 19). One in Three US. Households Faces a Challenge in Meeting Energy Needs.  Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

How We Impact

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) keeps families safe and healthy by assisting with energy costs and reducing the risk of using unsafe heating and cooling practices. CMCA makes payments directly to utility vendors on behalf of families who are in crisis.  There are two components of LIHEAP —Energy Assistance (EA) and  Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP).  CMCA helps thousands of mid-Missouri families annually by restoring or maintaining their utilities through LIHEAP.  

Households may apply for the Energy Assistance (EA) program only once per season.  Benefit levels for EA are based on the number of people living in a household, household income, and the type of fuel used for home heating.  It is not necessary to be in crisis to receive assistance through EA.

The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) has a winter and a summer season.  Applicants must have a disconnection notice or be shut off in order to receive ECIP assistance.  The benefit from ECIP is based on the amount of money required to resolve the crisis and keep the family out of threat for 30 days.  CMCA is given a fixed amount of money from the state for both winter and summer ECIP.  Applicants can receive up to $800 in the winter and $300 during the summer, as long as the agency has available funds.  Families may get assistance as many times as needed if they have a shut-off notice and have not reached their maximum benefit levels for that season.

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Funding for the LIHEAP program is provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services and the Office of Community Services, part of the Office of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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