The Business Times

White House announces US$13.5b funding to help households with energy bills

Published Wed, Nov 2, 2022 · 10:25 PM

PRESIDENT Joe Biden’s administration will make US$13.5 billion available to help low-income US households lower their heating costs this winter, the White House said on Wednesday (Nov 2).

As part of the initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services is providing US$4.5 billion in low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding, it said in a statement.

US consumers can expect to pay up to 28 per cent more to heat their homes this winter than last year due to surging fuel costs and colder weather, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected in its winter fuels outlook in October.

The new funding will help Americans with heating costs and unpaid utility bills and repairs of home energy appliances that will help lower their energy costs, the White House said.

Separately, the US Department of Energy will allocate US$9 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to support up to 1.6 million households in upgrading their homes to lower energy bills.

About 90 per cent of the roughly 130 million US households rely on natural gas or electricity for heat. The rest use either heating oil, propane or wood for heat.


Start and end each day with the latest news stories and analyses delivered straight to your inbox.


EIA forecast the average household will spend about US$931 for gas heat this winter and about US$1,359 for electric heat. That is a 28 per cent increase for gas and a 10 per cent increase for electric versus last year.

Homes using heating oil will spend about US$2,354 for heat this winter, up 27 per cent from last year, while propane users will see their costs rise 5 per cent to US$1,668, according to EIA’s outlook.

Despite the big increase in cost, gas will remain the nation’s cheapest source of heat.

Families are already having a hard time paying their electric and gas bills with about one in six US households in arrears, according to estimates from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) in October.

NEADA, which represents the state LIHEAP directors, said US families were about US$16.1 billion behind on their utility bills.

“The rise in home energy costs this winter will put millions of lower income families at risk of falling behind on their energy bills and having no choice but to make difficult decisions between paying for food, medicine and rent,” NEADA executive director Mark Wolfe has said. REUTERS


BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to

Energy & Commodities


Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here