heating assistance

Kim Carpenter via Flickr CC

As the record cold continues, programs in New Hampshire that help people pay their heating bills are seeing more demand.

In Sullivan and Cheshire counties, Southwestern Community Services chief operating officer Beth Daniels says they have about as many enrollees so far this year as normal – around 3,500, with at least 5,000 expected by the end of winter.

But she says the cold is having an impact:

"All last week and already today has been phenomenally busy, just people calling us out of heat, out of fuel, or very [close] to being out,” she says.

LU/FLICKR

Among the proposed cuts in President Trump's budget plan is a home heating assistance program that provides help to nearly 28,000 low-income New Hampshire residents.

  A program aimed at helping low-income residents with their home heating costs is getting underway for the season. 

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, will once again see funding cuts this year.  The program has seen funding drop each year since 2008.  Since registration began this season, some 30,000 households in New Hampshire have applied for fuel assistance. Celeste Lovett, fuel assistance program manager at the New Hampshire Office of Energy Planning talked with Morning Edition to explain what the funding reduction could mean for those applicants.

Courtesy Shaheen.Senate.gov

New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen have partnered with a bipartisan group of senators to protect funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

The group is requesting nearly $3.5 billion in the spending bill before Congress. The program could see funding reduced during the upcoming winter without action.

More families in New Hampshire can now get help with their fuel bill this winter.

Congress increased funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, this week.

New Hampshire will receive a total of $26 million, rather than the $14.7 million dollars originally allotted.

That original appropriation forced Community Action Agencies to target the money to families of four earning less than $28,000.

Other low-income households were placed on a waiting list.