Funding for energy assistance program

August 31, 2017

I’m very happy to vote today for allocating federal funding to a program that helps low-income individuals and families pay their winter heating bills.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, is designed specifically for households whose income falls at or below 60 percent of the state median income.

Home heating benefits are available for households with incomes up to $34,366 for a single person and $66,089 for a household of four.

Funding is also available to repair or replace unsafe or inoperable heating systems for single-family, owner-occupied homes if a heating system is deemed unsafe or inoperable by a licensed heating vendor.

Connecticut makes these benefits available through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and the funding comes from a federal block grant called LIHEAP.

For more information about LIHEAP or to apply for assistance, call New Opportunities Inc., a community action agency in Meriden that administers the program. The phone number is 203-639-5060. The agency office is at 74 Cambridge St. and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The agency website is newoppinc.org

You may also call 2-1-1 or visit www.ct.gov/staywarm for guidance about the program and application sites.

While President Trump has proposed eliminating funding for this crucial assistance program, it is my hope that Congress will act favorably on behalf of the millions of people across the country who need help and may be in danger of losing their heating this winter.

As the House chair of the legislature’s Human Services Committee and a member of the Appropriations and Energy and Technology committees, I am proud to vote today on all three of these committees for approving the funding allocation of LIHEAP.