LIHEAP helps eligible families pay the costs of heating and insulating their homes in the winter and cooling their homes in the summer. HHS is providing the LIHEAP funds in order to ensure that states have resources available to support their energy assistance programmes as the weather turns colder and the nation faces high unemployment rates.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, said: “The release of these funds will assist millions of Americans who may not be in the position to afford heating costs during these cold winter months. More low-income families will now have the chance to use their income for other necessities.”

Carmen Nazario, assistant secretary of children and families at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said: “LIHEAP helps more than six million low-income households deal with energy costs. We will continue to work with states, tribes and territories to assure their heating assistance programs work effectively.”