WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 – With winter around the corner and heating costs projected to increase this season, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vt.) today announced that Vermont will receive more than $20.7 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds.
“As Vermonters prepare for colder months, we are proud to announce this critical funding for home heating,” the Vermont delegation said in a joint statement. “Heating costs are rising, and we must do more to make sure all Vermonters have everything they need to get through winter. These funds will also help many Vermonters who are beginning to rebuild and recover after the devastating summer floods.”
The funding will help low-income individuals and families pay their home heating costs and also help with cooling bills in the summer. LIHEAP can also be used to weatherize homes to make them more energy efficient, and used during disasters and extreme weather to mitigate energy emergencies. The funding released includes funds appropriated for this year from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These “early release” funds represent a down payment on Vermont’s total annual share of LIHEAP funding, which will be determined once Congress passes a final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2024.
Ensuring LIHEAP funds are released ahead of winter has been a longstanding priority of the Vermont congressional delegation to enable low-income Vermonters and the agencies who serve them to have the funding they need to prepare for the cold temperatures ahead. In addition to this funding, which was announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Community Services announced the launch of a LIHEAP Eligibility Tool that allows households in Vermont and across the country to quickly identify if they might be eligible for LIHEAP assistance by inputting basic information like income and household size. For more information on how to apply, Vermonters can visit www.dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/fuel or call 1-800-479-6151.