Washington, D.C. – Following a bipartisan push by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), the State of Maine has been awarded a total of $35,028,729 through the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides funding to help low-income households pay their energy bills.
“During our long winters, vulnerable Mainers rely on the LIHEAP program to keep warm during the colder months,” said Senator Collins. “This funding will help ensure that low-income families and seniors do not have to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine, especially with the sharp increase in energy prices this year. As we combat the ongoing public health and economic crisis, I am pleased that the Administration has distributed these critical funds appropriated by Congress.”
The federal funding is particularly critical given that the average cost of home heating is unaffordable for millions of low-income households, costing over $900 per year nationally. Nationwide, an estimated 5.3 million households received assistance with heating and cooling costs through LIHEAP in 2020. Last year, Maine was awarded more than $40 million in annual federal LIHEAP appropriations, which served nearly 33,000 households in Maine.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills by providing payment and/or energy crisis assistance to pay for gas, electric, and other methods customers use to heat their homes. 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.