Posted May 01, 2019 05:36:31A year ago, the Department of Energy began rolling out a new program to help those who can’t afford energy assistance programs, even if they qualify.
In 2017, the federal government paid out $30 million in grants to more than 5,500 low-income households to get their energy assistance cut by more than 30 percent.
The government is now paying out another $60 million to more 2,000 low- and moderate-income families, according to a recent report by the American Association of Government Employees.
A total of $22.3 billion in energy assistance is now being distributed to low- to moderate- income families in 2017.
The average cost of the program for families in this category is $2,818.
That’s up from $2.2 billion in 2016, according the report.
The increase in the average amount paid out in 2017 comes as the Department continues to roll out a number of energy assistance efforts aimed at people who cannot afford to pay the higher cost of gas or electric bills.
The new program, which is known as the Energy Assistance for Low-Income Households (EALH), is expected to reach a total of about 20,000 households in the next two years.
The program provides financial assistance to households who are able to pay for their energy bills by tapping the Federal Energy Assistance Program (EAP) funds to buy energy-efficient appliances, furniture, and other items.
The Department of Labor is also using the EAP funds to help low- income workers purchase energy-saving equipment to help them heat their homes.
The Energy Assistance program also helps to lower the cost of home heating.
A program designed to help the most vulnerable Americans has expanded since its inception.
Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. has awarded more than $8.6 billion in EAP grants to low and moderate income families, the Energy Department reported last month.
This has led to an increase in energy-related bills for low-wage workers.
In 2016, the average EAP grant went to about $3,300 for low and low-middle-income Americans.
The amount of money awarded to low income families this year has grown to $5,300.
For middle income workers, the grant went from $3.2 million to $7.2,000, according an analysis by the Tax Foundation.
The Energy Assistance is a cash assistance program that is given to households to help pay for energy bills, according a spokesperson for the Department.
It is funded by a portion of the federal tax-exempt income tax exemption for energy-associated expenses, which are energy-dependent purchases such as heating, heating oil, gas, electricity, or computer and internet service, the EALH spokeswoman said.
The grant program was launched in December 2016 and is expected by 2020 to be worth $2 billion, according Toomey.
“We have seen tremendous progress, and I’m very proud of the efforts that the Department is making to help people who have not been able to find other resources,” Toomeys spokeswoman said in a statement.
“The program is designed to be as flexible and adaptable as possible, and the federal EAP tax exemptions help ensure that the EATL is able to continue to provide assistance to low to moderate income households.”
The EAP program has been in place since the 1960s, but it has become more popular in recent years as the cost for many energy-hungry consumers has dropped.
The federal government also recently expanded the EASH program to include energy efficiency.
According to the Department, the cost per month for an EAP energy assistance grant for a single family is about $200.
This is less than what most low- or moderate-wage families spend annually, but more than the average annual spending of the middle class, according The Washington Post.
The Department also reports that more than 90 percent of households are able, if they have enough resources, to pay their energy bill by paying it through payroll taxes, property taxes, or some other form of income-based assistance.
In the last year, there have been about 6.7 million payments of EAP awards, and more than 12.4 million EAP applications were processed.
About 1.5 million people have been eligible for the program since it began in 2017, according Department of Treasury statistics.
The EAP is designed for low income and people who do not qualify for other types of aid.
It has been expanded to include a number for those with children, senior citizens, disabled people, and people with a chronic health condition.