Top Issues: Low-Income Housing/Low Income Energy Programs
BACKGROUND: The federal government has numerous programs to help people find affordable housing. The federal government also funds programs to help low-income families with their energy bills.
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists households with low incomes, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs. This program can be used to provide home cooling, weatherization, and/or energy-related low-cost home repairs or replacements.
The Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Program (REACH) allows the Department of Health and Human Services to award supplemental LIHEAP funding for current grantees to receive competitive grants to implement innovative plans to help LIHEAP eligible households reduce their home energy vulnerability.
If these housing and HVAC programs do not follow quality installation industry standards, then taxpayer money is being wasted on homes and HVAC systems that consume more energy than they are supposed to.
SOLUTION: ACCA believes federally funded/financed housing programs should have HVAC systems installed according to nationally recognized quality installation standards. Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes billions of dollars for energy efficiency rebate programs, including for low-income housing, ACCA has urged the Department of Energy and the National Association of State Energy Officials to work with state governments to promote quality installation in respect to these programs.
SOLUTION: ACCA believes that funding programs to help low-income families install HVAC systems or improve their home’s efficiency should follow the HVAC industry’s installation/home evaluation & performance standards.