WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced Maryland will receive nearly $77 million to help low-income families and individuals pay their home energy bills in FY 2011.
The $76,942,926 Low Income House Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant will help low-income Maryland families, seniors on fixed incomes and people with disabilities pay for heating and cooling costs. This crucial program will help hundreds of families in Maryland pay their energy bills throughout the year.
“Marylanders deserve assurance that their homes will be safe and warm during the cold winter months,” said Senator Cardin. “Our seniors, young children and disabled citizens are particularly at risk in the event of extreme temperatures. This grant will help hundreds of families avoid utility-shut offs, and protect vulnerable individuals from the serious health risks that harsh weather can pose.”
“No family should be forced to choose between paying the heating bill and putting food on the table,” Senator Mikulski said. “Too many people feel stretched and strained by high energy costs. This grant will provide immediate, critical assistance to Maryland families in need.”
LIHEAP is a federally-funded program administered by the Maryland Office of Home Energy programs (OHEP) that serves more than 122,250 households in the state per year. In addition to helping low-income Maryland citizens pay their energy bills, OHEP promotes energy conservation, customer financial responsibility and energy independence.
A Maryland household of four earning up to $38,588 is eligible to apply for the program. A single individual earning up to $18,953 also is eligible to apply. Energy assistance is a year-round program and applications are accepted any time of year, but enrollees must reapply each fiscal year.