TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) _ President Clinton directed federal health officials Friday to determine which states might require federal aid to help low-income people keep cool during the summer heat wave.

Clinton said that after experiencing blazing temperatures during this week's poverty tour, he asked the officials to canvass the need for emergency assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Michael Kharfen, a Health and Human Services Department spokesman in Washington, said HHS and White House officials this weekend will contact states that have suffered ``serious heat waves'' and report back to the president Monday.

The energy assistance program helps low-income people pay high utility bills resulting from increased home use of air conditioners and heating systems.

It was not immediately clear which states would be eligible or how much the emergency heat relief would cost, though the recent heat wave has mostly affected the East and South.

A similar action to provide heat relief aid in 1997 in Texas and the Midwest cost $100 million, Kharfen said.

Eligibility is calculated through a formula measuring population and the number of days the temperature in a state is above the norm, he said.