(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced New Hampshire will receive an additional $13,924,612 in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which last winter provided heating aid to roughly 47,000 New Hampshire homes. The funds are in addition to the $19,767,875 HHS has already released to the state as of December 10, and bring New Hampshire's Fiscal Year 2011 total through March 4 to $33,692,487-nearly equal to the total it received during the same period last year.
"I'm delighted these funds are on their way to New Hampshire families," said Shaheen. "This aid comes at a crucial time. It will help thousands of families in the state stay warm this winter and cope with the rising costs of heating oil. I appreciate that Secretary Sebelius has worked to release these additional funds as quickly as possible."
Shaheen has consistently advocated for increased funding for the LIHEAP program. On November 16, Shaheen sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that urged against cutting the program, which was in danger of being funded at approximately $2 billion less than it was last year. On November 22 and December 17, Shaheen signed onto a pair of bipartisan letters to Senate leaders also calling for the program's full funding.
More than half of New Hampshire families rely on home heating oil, and the price of heating oil is up roughly 12 percent from this time last year. The Energy Information Administration projects that the Northeast will spend almost 15 percent more for home heating oil this winter than last.