Fed releases $21.5 million in oil funds for Maine

Posted Oct. 28, 2010, at 6:15 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The federal government has released $21.5 million in heating oil assistance funds for low-income Mainers.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe said the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helps offset the cost of heating oil for homeowners and renters in need. Maine is expected to receive additional LIHEAP funds this winter.

Snowe said households heating primarily with oil are expected to spend $220 more on oil this winter than last winter.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills.

In Maine, LIHEAP pays a portion of an eligible household’s home heating costs. Customers must choose one of several participating fuel suppliers, according to the Maine State Housing Authority.

Payment usually is made directly to the supplier and is based on household size and income, energy costs, household type and the kind of heating fuel used, as identified at the time of application.

LIHEAP also may be able to provide help with bill payment, energy crisis assistance and weatherization and energy-related home repairs.

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