Scott, congressional delegation announce historic home energy assistance funding

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Contact:
Jason Maulucci, Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
jason.maulucci@vermont.gov

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Governor Phil Scott, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Welch, and Department for Children and Families today announced that Vermont has received an unprecedented amount of Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding this year.

Thanks to the hard work of Vermont’s congressional delegation, the program received $49 million in LIHEAP funding, augmented by a one-time block grant increase authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Department for Children and Families typically receives approximately $20 million each year. LIHEAP benefits are designed to support eligible households with their heating and energy needs.

“These additional funds will allow us to do a number of things to help the vulnerable, including increasing fuel benefits; providing more money for weatherization services, including furnace repair and replacement; increasing the number of gallons or cords of wood you can receive under the crisis fuel program; provide a one-time check of $400 to those who qualify to offset electric heat, benefitting 18,000 households; and more,” said Governor Scott. “This increase is due to Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, who work incredibly hard to protect our most vulnerable each and every day. We’re so grateful for their efforts, and I want to thank them for all they do to help us back home in Vermont.”

“I’ve supported LIHEAP since its beginning 40 years ago for one simple reason: No Vermonter, no American, should have to choose between heating their home and putting food of the table or purchasing an essential medication,” said Senator Leahy. “In my role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have worked to secure increased funding so that Vermont families in need can have nearly 90 percent of their heating bills covered this winter. Now I have something to ask of you. If you think you might be eligible for this assistance, please reach out to your local community action agency and apply. Our work in Washington is only the first step. The last step, the most important one, is when Vermont families sign up for the program and receive the home heating help they need. This assistance could not have come at a more important time with fuel bills projected to rise steeply this winter.”

“We have a moral responsibility to make sure that no one in the state of Vermont goes cold in the winter time, and that’s exactly what we are doing by more than doubling federal LIHEAP funding,” said Senator Sanders. “I’m very proud that this substantial increase means far more Vermonters will receive the benefits they need, and I thank the state of Vermont and our Community Action Agencies for the great work they do helping Vermonters stay warm through the winter.”

“The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) serves as a lifeline for many vulnerable Vermonters, helping to ensure that they don’t have to make the impossible choice between paying their heating and energy bills or putting food on the table,” said Congressman Peter Welch. “The pandemic has only increased the need for more funding to ensure our communities get relief during the challenging winter months of these already trying times. The additional LIHEAP funding through the American Rescue Plan will allow more families to get the help they need. I’ll continue to fight for the highest possible level of funding to make sure that the low-income, elderly and disabled Vermonters who rely on this program are supported in the coming months.”

In 2021-22, Seasonal Fuel Assistance benefits will, on average, increase from $912 to $1,522, and cover 89% of a household’s seasonal fuel bill.

Eligibility

  • Households may be eligible for Seasonal Fuel Assistance if their gross household incomes are equal to or less than 185% of the federal poverty level — regardless of the resources they own (e.g., savings accounts, retirement accounts, and property).
  • Households may be eligible for Crisis Fuel Assistance if their gross household incomes are equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level and they are experiencing a crisis.

To learn more about these benefits, click here or visit https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/crisis-fuel.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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9 thoughts on “Scott, congressional delegation announce historic home energy assistance funding

  1. Just curious, what good is fuel assistance when we have a supply chain crisis? Why are our representatives both state and national mum on the crisis? What is the solution to this, our most critical and immediate crisis to the most vulnerable people?

  2. The money should be used to incentivize the building of THOUSANDS of highly sealed and highly insulated, low-cost housing, EACH YEAR.

    Such housing would use very little energy for heating, cooling and electricity.
    Energy bills would be very small FOREVER.

    Regarding heat pumps the following applies:

    HEAT PUMPS ARE MONEY LOSERS IN MY VERMONT HOUSE, AS THEY ARE IN ALMOST ALL NEW ENGLAND HOUSES
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-are-money-losers-in-my-vermont-house-as-they-are-in

    I installed three heat pumps by Mitsubishi, rated 24,000 Btu/h at 47F, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads, each with remote control; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.
    The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.
    The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000

    My Well-Sealed, Well-Insulated House

    The HPs are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, 3,600 sq ft, well-sealed/well-insulated house, except the basement, which has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over the 35 years.

    I do not operate my HPs at 15F or below, because HPs would become increasingly less efficient with decreasing temperatures.
    The HP operating cost per hour would become greater than of my efficient propane furnace. See table 3

    High Electricity Prices

    Vermont forcing, with subsidies and/or GWSA mandates, the build-outs of expensive RE electricity systems, such as wind, solar, batteries, etc., would be counter-productive, because it would:

    1) Increase already-high electric rates and
    2) Worsen the already-poor economics of HPs (and of EVs)!!

    Energy Cost Reduction is Minimal

    – HP electricity consumption was from my electric bills
    – Vermont electricity prices, including taxes, fees and surcharges, are about 20 c/kWh.
    – My HPs provide space heat to 2,300 sq ft, about the same area as an average Vermont house
    – Two small propane heaters (electricity not required) provide space heat to my 1,300 sq ft basement
    – My average HP coefficient of performance, COP, was 2.64, which required, at 35% displacement of fuel, 2489 kWh; 100% displacement would require 8997 kWh
    – The average Vermont house COP was 3.34, which required, at 27.6% displacement, 2085 kWh, per VT-DPS/CADMUS survey.
    – I operate my HPs at temperatures of 15F and greater; less $/h than propane
    – I operate my traditional propane system at temperatures of 15F and less; less $/h than HP

    Before HPs: I used 100 gal for domestic hot water + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 850 gal for Viessmann furnace, for a total propane of 1,200 gal/y

    After HPs: I used 100 gal for DHW + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 550 gal for Viessmann furnace + 2,489 kWh of electricity.

    My propane cost reduction for space heating was 850 – 550 = 300 gallon/y, at a cost of 2.339/gal = $702/y
    My displaced fuel was 100 x (1 – 550/850) = 35%, which is better than the Vermont average of 27.6%
    My purchased electricity cost increase was 2,489 kWh x 20 c/kWh = $498/y

    My energy cost savings due to the HPs were 702 – 498 = $204/y, on an investment of $24,000!!

    Amortizing Heat Pumps

    Amortizing the $24,000 turnkey capital cost at 3.5%/y for 15 years costs about $2,059/y.
    This is in addition to the amortizing of my existing propane system. I am losing money.

    Other Annual Costs

    There likely would be service calls and parts for the HP system, as the years go by.
    This is in addition to the annual service calls and parts for my existing propane system. I am losing more money.

  3. More BS from our congressional delegates. Vote for us and the government will be there to help you.

    “I AM MAD AS HELL AND I WON’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!!!”

  4. Just don’t help them earn more money. Was this higher funding due to the increase in fuel costs? What was last years funding.

    This is a press release. – Advertising. – Likely propaganda.

    I listened too all these gentleman lambast our former president on an emegency phone call about the pandemic relief money. saying they don’t have the check, yet the check came, what was it $5 billion, not a thank you. And then they held the money for a long time, bet they still haven’t released it all.

    It’s one thing to print press releases, it’s another thing for the press not to investigate. Vermonter think this is news because it’s the only way we hear what is going on in Montpelier.

    Just walk on by, nothing to see here, no eb5 money scandal, sweep, sweep, sweep, hey newspaper man can you pick up this rug for me?

  5. They are hoping the general public are blind to the rug they are pulling out from under them.

    Anyone in their right mind knows they are trying to do away with fossil fuels and any heating systems that burn fossil fuels.

    And now that biden has screwed Americans on the cost of heating fuel his cronies are going to step up and offer free money to cover up his blunders.

    These people including governor scott are a bunch of turn coats to Americans.

    This will do nothing but keep the masses calm until they pass their destructive so-called infrastructure budget.

    Why not let the people try to find the money to pay for their own fuel?

    Doing so will expose them to the lies of this administration and this failed governor.

    People in America and in the state of Vermont need to open their eyes wide and they will see quickly and easily who the deceivers are in public office.

    People you better wake the hell up before it is too late.

    These politicians are experts at deceit and not at solving any problems.

  6. Keep the people dependent on government, definitely a well used strategy. Instead of making a strong economy with high paying jobs they keep making it harder to survive and then throw some money around to look like caring heroes. Remember Scott voted against a thriving economy and instead supported this mess.

  7. Sounds good on paper.
    A month from now, it may just look like a thumb in a dyke about to burst (in this manufactured crisis cresting over our heads right now, going into winter).
    This is when we BETTER get over ourselves, and look after our neighbors this winter, and remember our humanity.
    Canceling the REASON we celebrate over the next few months is something we just don’t have to comply with.
    Leave no one behind this winter.
    Making us dependent on government is NOT the answer.

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