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Electricity aid program expands to cover thousands more Mainers

Thousands more Mainers will be eligible for assistance with their electricity bills this winter, and they'll soon be getting letters from the state.

The Department of Health and Human Services is sending letters to 67,000 Maine residents who are eligible for the Low Income Assistance Program. That's 46,000 more people this season, thanks to additional funding and expanded eligibility guidelines.

Public Advocate Bill Harwood says those who do get a letter should present it to their electric utility.

"They can fax it to them, email it to them, regular mail, show up with it," Harwood says. "The letter is their ticket to the benefits."

Harwood says the benefit varies with household income, and will range from a few hundred to $1,000.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.