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Many Mainers Getting Relief in Power Bills

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46,000 Mainers may be getting more help paying power bills. The Maine Public Utilities Commission has approved more funding for the low-income assistance program.

If you qualify for the low-income assistance program, you will receive a notice and then get a credit on your electric bill based on income and usage.

From the PUC:

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) approved a one-time increase to its Low-Income Assistance Program (LIAP) today and an increase in the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) eligibility threshold for Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) means-tested programs from 75 percent to 150 percent, which extends assistance to potentially 46,000 additional Mainers. The program is currently available to Maine electric utility customers who qualify for the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or who qualify for DHHS means-tested programs at 75% of the FPL.

LIAP helps qualified low-income electricity consumers pay for electricity costs and eligibility can be determined by local Community Action Agencies or through means-testing for DHHS programs. Those who qualify will receive a credit on their electric bill based on income and electricity usage.

“Not only does this increase the number of customers eligible to receive assistance, but it will also increase the average customer benefit,” said Commission Chair Philip L. Bartlett II. Our staff estimates that the average benefit could increase by up to 31 percent, which means real relief for Mainers who are struggling the most.

The decision increases funding for the program from $15 million to $22.5 million for the 2023-2024 Program Year. Those currently participating in an eligible DHHS program will receive a notice regarding their LIAP eligibility. Anyone wishing to apply for LIAP who is not enrolled in a DHHS program should contact their local Community Action Program.

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