Energy Economist Mark Wolfe Reports to Congress on LIHEAP

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Single Mothers become Focus of NEADA Director’s House Testimony

Energy economist Mark Wolfe has been on the cutting edge of LIHEAP data collection and analysis. He has appeared on national media outlets like CSPAN, CNN, the Washington Post, NPR, etc. and in multiple testimonials before Congress in his role as founder/ Executive Director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA). This year, his report for the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and related agencies smartly focused a sharp spotlight on the faces of so many millions around the nation that this vital, life-saving program helps season in and out, beginning with the sadly all-too-common demographic of single mothers:

  •  A young mother of three (in California who)…lived in an older all-electric home and had their electricity shut off due to a past-due bill of about $800. She worked full time making minimum wage and her husband worked as a seasonal laborer. With no electricity, the family could not heat their home, access hot water, or operate appliances. LIHEAP was able to assist the family by paying their past due bill to get the electricity turned back on.

  • A single mother of two (in Connecticut)…facing the challenges of being homeless came to the state for help. Through Connecticut’s connected services, she received a housing subsidy, $505 in LIHEAP funds, and was enrolled in the utility company’s Matching Payment Program.

  • In Colorado, a mother of three is raising her children on her own because her husband had a stroke and is now confined to a care facility. Her car was repossessed so she was no longer able to report to work and lost her job. She received a shutoff notice for her heat and could not allow her children to suffer in the cold. She reached out to the State LIHEAP Office and was able to obtain the assistance she needed to get her heat bill back on track.

  • In Florida, a father with two children was working to manage his wife’s medical care and the household needs. After his wife died, he left work to take care of his daughters, one of whom suffers from epilepsy. He fell behind on his electric bill and was in danger of being disconnected. LIHEAP funds helped keep the power on and pay down his overdue balance.

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