June 8, 2001

Governor Davis Launches Program to Help Low-Income Families Pay Energy Bills

Sacramento — Governor Gray Davis today announced a new, enhanced energy assistance program designed to help California's low-income residents reduce energy consumption and pay their energy bills.

"These funds will address California's energy crisis immediately, especially during the critical high peak demand months of 2001," Governor Davis said. "LIHEAP will supplement existing energy assistance programs and increase the eligibility guidelines to enable more low-income families to qualify and receive energy assistance.

Governor Davis created the California Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) when he signed Senate Bill 5x, appropriating $120 million to implement the program.

Fifty percent of the funds will be allocated for the weatherization of homes with emphasis on the immediate reduction of energy consumption. Weatherization activities will focus on the replacement of older electric water heaters, refrigerators, microwaves and lighting with newer more efficient energy conservation appliances and compact florescent lights. The balance of the funds will be used to assist with the payment of energy bills.

The targeted population for LIHEAP includes working poor households, senior citizens, disabled persons, migrant seasonal farm workers, limited-English-speaking persons and households with very young children whose incomes fall at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level for the state. For example, households with four members having an annual gross income of $44,125 or less will be eligible for assistance; three-member households earning, $36,575 or less will also qualify, as well as two-member families earning $29,025 or less; and individuals earning under $21,475.

Further information about LIHEAP can be obtained at www.csd.ca.gov.

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