US monthly propane Residential price (per gallon):
January 2004: $1.496
January 2007: $1.992
January 2011: $2.782
Increase from January 2004-January 2011: 86%
US monthly heating oil Residential price (per gallon):
January 2004: $1.566
January 2007: $2.369
January 2011: $3.431
Last month: $3.913
Increase from January 2004-January 2011: 119% (Until present: 150%)
US monthly natural gas Residential price (per thousand cubic feet):
January 2004: $9.71
January 2007: $12.17
January 2011: $9.76
Increase from January 2004-January 2011: 0.2%
US monthly electric Residential price (per kWh):
January 2004: $8.24
January 2007: $10.06
January 2011: $10.99
Increase from January 2004-January 2011: 33.4%
Percent of LIHEAP Households Using Major Types of Heating Fuels, United States, April 2005
"The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association was set to
announce February 9 that 8.9 million households are expected to qualify
for financial help this winter, up from 8.3 million last winter."
The amount of funding for 2011 is... $5.1 billion
In 2007 LIHEAP provided $2,467,475,108 in funds for 4,925,646 people
So onto analysis.... Home heating oil has risen the most over the
past six-eight years. It was not triple as I said during the winter...
although it is slightly higher than the 150% that it is in the winter
during the summer months, of course you use less. Doubling the funding
for heating assistance is a good thing and that shouldn't be belittled.
However, with the costs of other things also going up, people are
increasingly dependent on home heating oil assistance plans.
Funding per person in 2007 was $500.94 per person (dividing the
money available by the number accepted to the program that year from
above). However, there is overhead on the 2.4+ Billion funded in 2007
as well as assistance given for cooling and other issues... LIHEAP
claims to have given an average of $265 per person for heating in 2007
or 53% of the funding available. (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/publications/liheap07rc.pdf, p.51)
If the same funding model holds true today (and it should), that
means that using the same math but on this year's numbers... There is
available $573.03 available per person before overhead (et. al.). After
overhead and non-heat funding on the current model (47%) you are left
with $303.71 per person this year.
NOW.... This is a 14.7% increase in funding over 2007!!
1. People using natural gas on LIHEAP (60%) have seen a 19.8% decrease in prices for a net gain of 24.5% in gov't aid.
2. People using electric heat on LIHEAP (19.0%) have seen a 9.245% increase in prices for a net gain of 9.76% in gov't aid.
3. People using propane heat on LIHEAP (5.2%) have seen a 39.66% increase in prices for a net LOSS of 24.96% in gov't aid.
4. People using oil heat on LIHEAP (12%) have seen a 44.83% increase in prices for a net LOSS of 30.13% in gov't aid.
So, data shows that the current rates of coverage for LIHEAP
families has gotten better for those using natural gas and heat (79% ofL IHEAP homes). But, it is still lagging for the 17.2% of families that
use either propane or oil heat.
Cuts in government aid will shrink the amount of money that each
family gets. Some families are doing worse than they were in 2007, some
are doing better. Either way, these cuts are going to hurt. Taking
into account that food, health care, and so on also costs more than it
did in 2007 and that wages are stagnant or have fallen (depending on
industry) since then, that unemployment is still very high and a large
number of people are out of unemployment insurance, ANY cut in funding
for this vital program is detrimental to our LIHEAP Americans. Those
who will be hurt most are those that use propane and heating oil. But
everyone will still be hurt.