Exelon urges Congress to fully fund LIHEAP
Exelon Corporation is urging Congress to fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at the highest level possible.
The federal investment is necessary to help meet the home heating and cooling needs of more than 6 million American households that are struggling financially, Exelon officials said.
“Exelon strongly supports LIHEAP – an invaluable safety net for customers – and we hope Congress will provide as much funding as possible to aid those who are uncertain if they’ll be able to pay their home energy bills,” Calvin Butler, Exelon chief operating officer and senior executive vice president, said. “Congress cannot risk scaling back a lifeline to so many: energy insecure families, older Americans, individuals with disabilities, and children – especially at a time when the cost of everyday necessities continues to move farther out of reach for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
Exelon’s utilities connected more than 650,000 customers to $430 million in energy assistance, including LIHEAP funding. Roughly 25 percent of Exelon’s 10 million customers have income below the maximum level allowed under the expanded LIHEAP (200 percent of the federal poverty level). Many also are undocumented individuals, new immigrants, and non-English speakers who are more difficult to reach with this important information, officials said.
Exelon and its subsidiaries recently participated in the all-virtual National LIHEAP Action Day, sponsored by the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEAUC). Representatives from Exelon’s six utilities — Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO, and Pepco – were in attendance, as well as those from dozens of other companies.
Last year, eligible households received $8 billion in LIHEAP funding due to an additional $4.5 billion provided by the American Rescue Plan. However, that additional funding will expire in September 2022.
Dominion Energy, based in Richmond, Va., also participated in LIHEAP Action Day, where representatives advocate for the program on behalf of customers by educating policymakers about the program’s impact.
“It’s the coldest time of the year and a time when families experiencing hardship may find it difficult to keep up with their bills,” Sam Dozier, general manager of customer service at Dominion Energy, said. “We want our customers to know that we are here to help connect them with programs like LIHEAP and other financial aid resources if they are struggling.”