MONTPELIER, Vt. (WFFF) — Gov. Phil Scott announced Thursday that Vermont will receive an additional $28 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Scott applauded Vermont’s Congressional delegation for securing the “unprecedented” amount, a total of $49 million.
“With this increase in funding, we’ll make sure eligible families have a warm home this winter,” Scott said. According to the governor, the additional dollars will increase Vermonters’ fuel benefits and ensure that homes are energy efficient. Participants may also be eligible for a one-time check of $120 or $400 to offset electric heating costs.
“Last year, 39,000 Vermont households received a combined $19 million in heating assistance, and now, as the Governor said, even more will be assisted,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Rep. Peter Welch says the funding is good news for low-income Vermonters as the state prepares for a cold winter coupled with increasing energy prices. “Energy prices are going up, which makes the urgency of the distribution of LIHEAP funds all the more important,” he said.
Vermonters who may not qualify for LIHEAP are encouraged to reach out to their local community action organization for assistance. Tom Donahue, CEO of BROC Community Action based in Rutland and Bennington, oversees five agencies in the state. “We don’t want Vermonters living in the cold, we know how difficult it is these days, and this is about neighbors helping neighbors,” he Donahue.