CONCORD - Governor Chris Sununu and Department of Energy Commissioner Jared Chicoine announced on Wednesday that the state is in the final stages of opening up funding through the New Hampshire Fuel Assistance Program to help pay energy costs this summer for prequalified low-income households.
"We are allocating $7.5 million in funds to provide low-income families with assistance to help cool their homes this summer," said Sununu. "As a result of unprecedented Washington spending that has unleashed record inflation, uncertainty in the energy market following President Biden's anti-domestic energy policies, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, energy prices are skyrocketing across the country. While there is not much that states can do to rebuff federal inaction, we are doing what we can at the state level to ease the burden on low-income families."
Additional program details will be made available in the coming weeks, including the exact amount of funding available per family.
Chicoine said the program was necessary to help offset electricity price hikes, which in some regions of the country are expected to almost double.
The Department of Energy is working diligently with stakeholders to provide summer electric bill assistance to currently-eligible LIHEAP customers," said Department of Energy Commissioner Jared Chicoine. "We are hopeful that this assistance will help provide some relief to consumers in these challenging times."
The New Hampshire Fuel Assistance Program provides income-qualifying New Hampshire households with grants to assist with home heating costs. For the first time ever, the state plans to provide LIHEAP funding for summer electricity costs. The benefit amounts for qualifying households are determined based on a wide variety of factors including income, household size, housing type, and fuel type.
The state managed last winter's program efficiently and as a result, has $7.5 million in remaining ARP funds from this past winter's LIHEAP funding to dedicate to this program.
The Fuel Assistance Program is the New Hampshire arm of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that is funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Program serves households making up to 60% of the current State Median Income figure.