Collins, Golden, and Reed successfully pushed for a total of $1 billion in additional funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in the government funding law
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Administration released a total of $1 billion in funding for LIHEAP that was secured by U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee; Senator Jack Reed (D-RI); and Congressman Jared Golden (D-ME) in the 2023 government funding bill that was signed into law in December.
Earlier this month, Senators Collins and Reed led 32 Senators in sending a letter to U.S Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to urge the immediate allocation of the remaining emergency LIHEAP funds.
Senator Collins and Congressman Golden announced that the State of Maine will receive an additional $6,531,152 of supplemental funding for LIHEAP through this distribution. The $6,531,152 awarded to Maine today is in addition to the $42.5 million that was allocated to the state in November.
“This week’s snowstorm is another reminder that we are still in the heart of winter. Many Mainers, particularly low-income families and seniors,
are struggling with the high cost of energy to keep their homes warm,” said Senator Collins. “I strongly advocated for these increased funds and pushed for their swift release to help prevent vulnerable Mainers from having to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine.”
“I am pleased to join Senator Collins in delivering this much-needed help to thousands of Maine families,” said Congressman Golden. “This funding is a crucial lifeline to get them through the remainder of the winter heating season.”
“This latest infusion of federal LIHEAP funding will help keep home energy costs more affordable for those in need. In addition to easing the strain on household budgets, it also provides an economic boost for local small businesses that supply home heating fuel to customers with fixed or limited incomes,” said Senator Reed.
Many Northeast residents have seen a significant increase in their utility bills this winter, with residential electricity prices in some states forecast to rise over 60 percent, propane up 40 percent, and natural gas prices up nearly 30 percent.
LIHEAP is administered by states and accessed through local Community Action Agencies. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size, and the availability of resources. Senior citizens and those receiving Social Security Disability or SSI benefits are encouraged to apply as early as possible, but applications will be open to everyone through spring of 2023 — or until the funding is exhausted. More information on how to apply can be found HERE.