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Business and Economy

Maine gets big boost to home energy assistance program

Paul Dorion
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP file
In this photo made Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2014, Paul Dorion, a driver for the Downeast Energy, delivers heating oil to home Portland, Maine.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says Maine this year will receive more than double its typical annual funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

In total, Maine will get more than $90 million, with $55 million coming from the American Rescue Plan.

Pingree says Congress must continue to address the growing needs of Mainers during the pandemic, be it job loss or rising heating and food bills.

"We have some of the oldest houses in the nation and one of the oldest populations in the country," she say. "This funding is critical. I'm hoping this year with this record funding, double the funding, that we'll be able to supply people with the aid that they need."

Pingree says she often gets calls from older constituents who are desperate for help with their heating bills.

"For many seniors struggling to get by on Social Security, there's a limited amount of funding and if you don't have help with your oil bills, you won't have sufficient funds to pay for your food bills or your heating or your prescription drugs, that's a common concern that we hear," she says.

Mainers can apply for LIHEAP benefits through their local community action program.