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Energy Assistance in Missouri

March 24, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Jenny Bratburd

Energy assistance for households unable to afford utility bills or at-risk of having utilities shut off primarily comes from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides aid for bills, and the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (LIWAP), which helps make households more energy efficient. Missourians may also find relief from state, local and private funders that provide additional assistance. Utilicare is Missouri’s LIHEAP supplemental program, but it has not been funded since fiscal year 2018. HB1334 would increase eligibility for Missouri Utilicare from 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 200%.

Highlights

  • Energy assistance is available through programs, such as LIHEAP and LIWAP, which cover households at 135-150% of FPL and 200% FPL, respectively.
  • Energy insecurity leads to negative health and economic impacts; energy assistance can reduce these negative impacts, and investments in energy efficiency can save money for households, reduce medical expenses and reduce work and school absences.

Limitations

  • There is little research available on the long-term impacts of energy assistance funding.
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