(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced the release of an additional $1,795,158 in emergency heating aid for New Hampshire families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The award, which comes from LIHEAP emergency contingency funding that HHS can distribute at its discretion, is in addition to money the agency has already released to New Hampshire and brings the state's total to $35,542,064.
"With blizzards and below-zero temperatures battering the Northeast, these funds will help thousands of New Hampshire families stay warm this winter," said Shaheen. "As families across the state continue to recover from the economic recession and grapple with the rising costs of home heating oil, these funds will help ease their financial burdens as well."
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.