April 27, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released $5 million in funding for Maine through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The amount includes funding for tribes and tribal organizations totaling $193,000. Maine’s LIHEAP funding has seen an increase of more than $1 million since last year.
DHHS released a total of $609 million in funding for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program on Monday, April 23. The additional funds are part of the remaining $609 million in LIHEAP funds released nationwide.
The funding is especially important for Maine because many residents are heavily reliant on heating oil. Unlike natural gas and electric utilities oil is not regulated, therefore heating oil vendors are not bound to deliver fuel to those who cannot pay their bill.
U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King made the announcement earlier this week in a joint statement:
"Access to affordable home energy during the cold winter months is a matter of health and safety for many low-income families and seniors in Maine and across the country. This funding is welcome news as these programs remain important lifelines that help prevent vulnerable individuals from having to choose between heating their home, paying their bills or going without food or medicine."
Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Director’s Association (NEADA) said, “It’s good timing because moratoriums on winter cutoffs are being lifted. It’ll really make a difference for families in crisis.”
To learn more about lIHEAP in your state, visit the LIHEAP Clearinghouse.
Sources: media reports