WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced the state of Maine has received a total of $3.7 million to help families and individuals afford to heat their homes, according to a release from her office.

This funding was awarded through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and was authorized through the Fiscal Year 2022 government funding omnibus that was signed into law in March.

“As energy prices continue to skyrocket, the release of these funds could not come at a more critical time for Maine families and seniors,” Collins said. “This funding will help ensure that low-income households do not have to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine.”

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills by providing payment and/or energy crisis assistance to pay for gas, electric, and other methods customers use to heat their homes. LIHEAP is administered by states and accessed through local Community Action Agencies. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size, and the availability of resources.

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Collins led the effort to fully fund the LIHEAP program. Following a bipartisan push by Collins and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided Maine with $35 million in LIHEAP funding in November 2021. In January, Maine received an additional $680,000 in LIHEAP funding through the bipartisan infrastructure package Collins negotiated with nine of her colleagues.

The funding announced today represents the remaining 10 percent of the initial Fiscal Year 2022 LIHEAP funding release, as well as $50 million added by Congress in the final Fiscal Year 2022 government funding law.

Mainers can check energy assistance eligibility and apply at https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/energy/liheap.