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Mills set to announce her administration's plan for heat aid this week

Esta Pratt-Kielley
Maine Public
A Downeast Energy technician refills a homeowner's propane tank in Yarmouth, Maine.

Community Action Agencies around the state say they are anxious to see Gov. Janet Mills' plan for heat aid for residents, which is due to be announced this week.

York County's Community Action Corporation says heat aid applications have increased by 40% as home heating and electricity costs squeeze residents financially. Agency Director Jackie Watson says many of her clients might need extra help filling their heating tank this winter.

"Fuel assistance is a really great program, but it may not cover a full tank of fuel," Watson says. "Over 70% of the clients are elders on a fixed income. It's a very troubling time for many people."

Watson says there is an additional fuel assistance benefit for clients in an emergency, defined as having less than a week's worth of fuel in their tank, or having received an electricity disconnection notice. She says that benefit can equal or even be slightly higher than the original fuel aid amount given to the client.