ShareThis Page
Review raps 2 state agencies for oversight of home heating programs |

Review raps 2 state agencies for oversight of home heating programs

Stephen Huba
| Wednesday, July 11, 2018 2:55 p.m
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale discusses the release of the four-year audit “Protection from the Cold” on Tuesday.

A four-year review of two energy conservation and assistance programs found that the state failed to spend $5.4 million of federal funding that potentially could have helped 527 families.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s performance audit covered the state Department of Community and Economic Development, which administers the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, and the state Department of Human Services, which administers the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

The weatherization program helps low-income families reduce energy costs by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while LIHEAP helps families pay their heating bills.

Results of the two audits are combined in a 90-page report, “Protection from the Cold,” that includes one finding and three recommendations for LIHEAP, along with three findings and 20 recommendations to improve the weatherization assistance program.

“What we found are two state agencies with very different approaches to administering these vital federal programs designed to help low-income families survive Pennsylvania winters,” DePasquale said.

“While DHS made significant improvements in LIHEAP based on previous audits, we found continued problems with DCED’s weatherization service waiting list dating back to 2001 that were called out in previous audits as far back as 2007,” he said.

In addition to recommendations for each agency, the report calls on Gov. Tom Wolf and the General Assembly to pass a law requiring all federal funding for the programs to be released to the state agencies by July 1 of each year.

“In the event of a budget impasse, our most vulnerable residents would not have to risk harm while elected officials are sitting in air-conditioned, heated state office buildings,” DePasquale said.

The audit report is available online at .

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, or via Twitter .

Categories: Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.