Energy poverty is a lack of access to modern energy services and is usually defined as a lack of household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities. Typically the term is not used to describe conditions in the US. However, on the eve of the holiday in which many households will be doing more than their fair share of cooking[1], I wanted to recognize the energy burden on US households and give LIHEAP and The Dollar Energy Fund a shout out for the wonderful services they provide to those in need:

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (“LIHEAP”) assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, and sometimes home weatherization. Roughly 75% of households that are helped by LIHEAP earn less than $15,000 and 50% earn less than $10,000/year. 

Dollar Energy Fund works to help low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes afford safe utility supplies. The agency works directly with utility companies to design and administer programs to help low-income utility customers.

According to a LIHEAP fact sheet, the U.S. Census recently reported that 46.2 million people live in poverty and more than half of U.S. households now devote more than 20 percent of their family budget toward energy costs. You can get a fact sheet on LIHEAP assistance by state. Currently, Dollar Energy Fund operates in six states. When you give to the organization, your contribution is matched dollar for dollar by the local utility.

This Thanksgiving, be thankful for electricity. On Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, consider making a contribution to help with energy poverty right here in the United States.

[1] Those doing the deep fried turkeys, please be careful…my husband included.