The Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy (OPAE) is carefully monitoring current federal legislation, including the “Heating and Cooling Relief Act” introduced by U.S. Representatives Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

According to the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition, the bill would propose a variety of critical changes to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), including:

  • Authorizing the program at $40 billion per year for the next 10 years
  • Emphasizing addressing energy/fuel/utility arrearages
  • Considerably expanding eligibility
  • Including data sharing and other requirements for utilities
  • Expands weatherization through LIHEAP by increasing the percentages of the weatherization transfer as well as permitting distributed solar and community solar to be funded with transferred funds
  • Expanding availability of administrative funds
  • Supporting self-attestation of income for applicants
  • Requiring a minimum wage of $15/hour for LIHEAP Coordinators
  • Establishing “Just Energy Transition Grants” promoting the transition away from fossil fuel energy

OPAE will be evaluating this legislation and passing on its thoughts to Ohio’s Congressional delegation.