Governor Janet Mills today unveiled the Emergency Winter Energy Relief Plan, a package of short-term measures aimed at ensuring that low-income and middle-class Maine people and families can stay warm, safe, and secure this winter amid near record high energy prices.
From Gov. Mills:
Inflation and high energy prices are stretching the wallets of Maine people, in some cases forcing them to face the impossible choice of heating their homes, putting food on the table, or paying for other necessities. With this plan, we hope to ease the burden on Maine people by putting money back into their pockets so they can better afford these costs and by ensuring that our most vulnerable citizens are able to stay warm this winter. This approach builds on our nation-leading inflation relief measure, incorporates Republican feedback, and represents the most direct way to get help to Maine people as we work to bring down energy costs in the long-term. I ask the Legislature to pass this plan with the 2/3 support needed to enact it as an emergency measure so that we can get this relief into the hands of Maine people without delay.
The Emergency Winter Energy Relief Plan includes:
- Winter Energy Relief Payment of $450 to an estimated 880,000 eligible Maine people, amounting to $900 in relief for the average Maine family. Based on already-filed 2021 tax returns, eligible Maine people will have a Federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) of less than: $100,000 if filing single or if married and filing separately; $150,000 if filing as head of household; or $200,000 for couples filing jointly.
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Supplement: $40 million to supplement the Home Energy Assistance Program to help HEAP recipients receive a financial benefit equal to last year’s.
Emergency Fuel: $10 million to Maine Community Action Partnerships to help them deliver emergency fuel assistance to prevent people and families from running out of heating fuel and experiencing a heating crisis.
- Short-Term Housing Support: $21 million to bolster the Emergency Housing Relief Fund created by Governor Mills and the Legislature earlier this year that supports emergency housing and emergency shelters to prevent people from experiencing homelessness this winter.
More at Maine.gov.