State Drawdowns and Use of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Funds

HRD-82-100: Published: Jul 12, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 1982.

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GAO reviewed State drawdowns of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for fiscal year 1982.

Based on information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), GAO determined that the 50 States and the District of Columbia had drawn $1.24 billion from their original allocation of $1.733 billion and $82 million from their supplemental allocation of $122 million. Thirty-seven States and the District of Columbia had a drawdown balance from the original allocation of $327 million. GAO found little information on how States are using LIHEAP funds for fiscal year 1982. The latest data at HHS showed that, of their $1.747 billion original and supplemental allocation, the States expected to spend about $1.166 billion for heating assistance, $121 million for energy crisis assistance, and $179 million for weatherization; they had transferred $53 million and expected to transfer an additional $40 million to other block grants. The survey did not specify other possible uses of the remaining $188 million. Pursuant to Federal regulations, States are required to report to HHS their plans to carry over fiscal year 1982 money the next fiscal year. HHS is studying the extent to which welfare programs compensate for energy costs. The agency drafted an amendment to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981. Many changes are envisioned by HHS on the use of LIHEAP funds.

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