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RULE §6.301Background and Definitions

(a) The Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is funded through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended). LIHEAP has been in existence since 1982. LIHEAP is a federally funded block grant program that is implemented to serve Low Income Households who seek assistance for their home energy bills. LIHEAP is not an entitlement program, and there are not sufficient funds to serve all eligible customers or to provide the maximum benefit for which a customer may qualify.

(b) Definitions.

  (1) Crisis Assistance--A type of CEAP assistance limited to Households who meet the requirements related to Extreme Weather Conditions, Life Threatening Crisis, or a Disaster.

  (2) Customer Obligations--Funds become obligated upon a Subrecipient's pledge of payment to a specific Household toward a service or form of assistance and it being recorded in Subrecipient's client tracking software.

  (3) Disaster--An event declared by the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of Texas.

  (4) Extreme Weather Conditions--For winter months (November, December, January, and February), extreme cold weather conditions exist when the temperature has been at least two degrees below the lowest winter month's temperature or below 32 degrees, for at least three days during the client's billing cycle. For summer months (June, July, August, and September), extreme hot weather conditions exist when the temperature is at least two degrees above the highest summer month's temperature for at least three days during the client's billing cycle. Extreme Weather Conditions will be based on either data for "1981-2010 Normals" temperatures recorded by National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and available at https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/normals, or on data determined by the Subrecipient, and approved by the Department in writing. Subrecipient must maintain documentation of local temperatures and reflect their standard for Extreme Weather Conditions in its Service Delivery Plan.

  (5) Life Threatening Crisis--A Life Threatening Crisis exists when the life of at least one person in the applicant Household who is a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or a Qualified Alien would likely, in the opinion of a reasonable person, be endangered if utility assistance or heating and cooling assistance is not provided. Examples of life endangerment include, but are not limited to, a Household member who needs electricity for life-sustaining equipment (e.g., kidney dialysis machines, oxygen concentrators, medicinal refrigeration and cardiac monitors); a Household member whose medical professional has prescribed that the ambient air temperature be maintained at a certain temperature; a Household member whose life is endangered if absence of heating or cooling were to continue; or the presence of noxious gases as a result of heating or cooling the Dwelling Unit. In cases concerning an applicant's medical condition or need for life-sustaining equipment, documentation must not be requested about the medical condition of the applicant but the applicant must affirm that such a device is required in the Dwelling Unit because of a life threatening illness or risk of death.

  (6) Low on Fuel--A reference to propane tanks which are below 20% supply (according to customer).

  (7) Natural Disaster--A Disaster that is primarily not of man-made origins.

  (8) Vendor Refund--A sum of money refunded by a utility company or supplier due to a credit on the account or due to a deposit. See §6.312 of this subchapter (relating to Payments to Subcontractors and Vendors) for more information.

Source Note: The provisions of this §6.301 adopted to be effective December 2, 2021, 46 TexReg 8012

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