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Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) – $341

Use when the household is responsible for heating and cooling costs. You must confirm there is a cost separate from the rent or mortgage and that the household actually pays or incurs the cost. This can be electricity, gas, kerosene, propane, butane, or wood (if purchased). The standard is a deduction based off of annual averages that include costs for heating or cooling, cooking fuel, electricity, basic telephone service, water, sewage, and garbage.

The client does not need to be responsible for all these bills. If they are responsible for heating or cooling, this is sufficient for allowing this deduction.

SUA should be used as long as the household is billed for heating or cooling at any time during the year. With heating costs incurred by propane or butane, the client will be billed less often than monthly.

If a client informs you that they will no longer be responsible for heating or cooling costs, you should assess which type of deduction the client will be eligible for going forward.

A household with utility expenses that are partially reimbursed or paid by an excluded payment (like HUD utility allowances or FmHA), SUA can be used as long as the client claims that heating or cooling costs exceed the excluded payment amount. 

You should assess the household's utility deduction at each certification, recertification, and when the household moves.

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