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Maine and NH get heating assistance, but fuels costs to rise

November 4, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The $3.4 billion in heating assistance released by the Biden administration this week includes more than $60 million for Maine and New Hampshire.

Maine is slated to get about $36 million and New Hampshire about $25 million. However, the cost of all fuels is expected to rise this winter, with natural gas, propane and heating oil seeing the biggest increases.

Last year, a home that used natural gas paid about $573 in heating costs during the winter months. This year it’s estimated to cost about $746, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Mark Wolfe from the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association said rising energy costs will require millions of poor families “to choose between heating and eating” this winter.

“While the release of these funds will make a significant difference to many of these families, it will not be enough to offset rising costs,” he said.

The $3.4 billion represents 90% of the funding for the coming year under the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP.