Over $14 Million in New Funds for Residents of New York
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced today that the federal government has released $40 million in additional funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP provides home heating aid for senior citizens and struggling families.
“With weeks of cold weather remaining here in Western New York and the cost of energy continuing to skyrocket, the release of these additional funds will go a long way in assisting local residents who cannot afford the high cost of keeping their houses warm and safe in the winter months,” Higgins said.
The money released today is directed to states with 20 percent of their low-income households using fuel oil as their primary heating source. The Energy Information Administration predicts that average home heating oil expenditures this winter will exceed last year winter’s levels by 34 percent. In comparison to last winter, The Energy Information Administration reports that the cost to heat a home with home heating oil increased by $375 to $1,841, propane by $273 to $1,622 and natural gas by $87 to $900. A typical tank of heating oil holds 275 gallons. The cost for one fill is approaching $900 and often lasts less than half a winter heating season.
Higgins has been a strong advocate for increased LIHEAP funds in the House of Representatives, and has recently asked the House Budget Committee and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee that they provide $5.1 billion for LIHEAP for fiscal year 2009.