Pennsylvania Low-Income Usage Reduction Program
Overall, the 15 major electric and gas companies that are required to participate in LIURP have spent over $348 million from 1988-2006 by providing weatherization treatments to more than 292,530 low-income households. LIURP rules and regulations require affected utility companies to establish fair, effective and efficient usage reduction programs for low-income customers.
The goal of the program is to contribute toward the reduction of energy use, and ultimately to lower bills for low income customers. Eligible customers must have utility supplied space or water heating in their homes and must have a household income at or below 150% of the federally established poverty level. Under LIURP, companies install weatherization measures (measures intended to reduce household energy consumption) and repair existing housing for eligible low-income families, provided that the home is in satisfactory condition.
Companies should also provide consumer education programs in conjunction with weatherization efforts, to educate customers on how to conserve energy. As noted in the regulations, research indicates that a direct relationship exists between customer payment problems and the use of unusually high amounts of utility service. This relationship applies specifically to low-income customers.
It is expected that the programs required by LIURP regulations will enable low-income customers to reduce their energy usage, thereby reducing their utility bills, and also improving their payment behavior. Thus, the LIURP programs also seek to reduce the uncollectable accounts and collection and termination expenses of covered utilities. Further, the LIURP programs are intended to reduce the residential demand for electricity and gas.
These programs should reduce the peak demand for electricity, thus reducing costs related to the unnecessary purchase of additional fuel or power, and reducing demand which could lead to the need for companies to construct new generating capacity. LIURP is administered through the PUC's Bureau of Consumer Services. Each year the PUC/BCS and Penn State CSIS Project conducts an evaluation of all company LIURP programs.
For more information on LIURP in your area, please contact your local regulated electric and/or gas company. For more information on LIURP in general, or for copies of LIURP reports, please contact:
- David Mick of the
Bureau of Consumer Services (717-783-3232)
- John Shingler of the Penn State CSIS Project (814-863-8653)