FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2008
Schumer: Ulster County Seniors To Pay $720 More On Home Heating Oil This Winter, LIHEAP Funds Could Run Out Before December - Will Announce Push For $5.1 Billion In LIHEAP Funding
Hudson Valley Residents Will Spend Total of $275m More in Home Heating Oil An Estimated 3,100 Ulster County Seniors Utilize LIHEAP To Stay Warm in the Winter Schumer, joined by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Will Announce Push for More LIHEAP Funding When Congress Returns in the Fall
With oil prices expected to soar to record levels when the weather gets colder, today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer warned that seniors and other
“When the thermostats go down, and the oil prices go up, our seniors and other residents could be left struggling to pay their bills,” Schumer said. “We cannot leave residents out in the cold this winter and I will fight tooth and nail to make sure they have the assistance they need.”
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Chairman of the New York State Assembly Energy Committee, joined Schumer today in his push for home heating assistance and continued his push in the State Assembly for an assistance plan.
“Given the record high price of home heating fuel, far too many New Yorkers will have to choose between heating their homes throughout the long months of ice and snow and bitter cold that are coming and feeding their families. We cannot wait until the crisis is upon us before we act,” said Cahill.
With crude oil prices spiking to over $140 a barrel last month—and some energy analysts predicting it could hit $150 a barrel this winter—estimates are showing that the average American household will once again face ever-increasing home heating bills this winter. The average
Home heating oil price estimates from NYSERDA show an even more shocking price increase. NYSERDA estimates that families in
In addition, estimates of the price per gallon of home heating oil have increased significantly in just the last month. With limited federal and state funds set aside, many of
Speaking at the New Paltz Site of Family of Woodstock with Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and in an effort to offer some relief, Schumer announced a plan to dramatically expand the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that provides direct aid to help the elderly cover high home heating bills.
Schumer is fighting for critical legislation in a second stimulus package that would boost LIHEAP funding by $1.25 billion nationwide over the proposed funding levels, to a total of $3.78B. This increase would mean an extra $35 million in
Earlier this summer the National Energy Directors Association (NEADA) conducted a national survey of utility arrearages and shutoffs. The survey found that millions of elderly households this year are facing a severe hardship paying arrearages from last winter’s heating bills, coping with impending and actual shutoff of service, and meeting rising air conditioning costs. The survey estimated that at least 1.2 million households have been disconnected from electric and natural gas service during the three-month period following the end of state shutoff moratoriums.
This was a conservative estimate as the level of shutoffs was likely to go higher as utilities completed credit and collection procedures. The statute specifically defines a significant increase in home energy disconnections as an emergency and reason for the release of funds.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA),
Schumer argued today that boosting LIHEAP funding is essential to assisting
Earlier this summer Schumer also pushed to dramatically expand the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides direct assistance to low-income families and seniors who are struggling to pay their bills. Schumer joined a bi-partisan group of Senators and is introducing new legislation, S.3186, the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act, to provide billions in additional emergency LIHEAP funding for this winter. Schumer today vowed to continue this fight when the Senate returns from recess.
Cahill, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy, has been conducting a series of news conferences across the state focusing addressing the expected home heating crisis New Yorkers will face this winter.
In anticipation of a crisis, the Assembly developed and approved a responsible plan (A.11590) in June to include:
“We cannot let New Yorkers freeze this winter,” said Cahill. “Senator Schumer and the Assembly have come forward with plans to help avert this home heating crisis. The time to act is now.”
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