Dover, DE – October 21, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Ruth Ann Minner announced today an increase of nearly $11 million in federal funds over two years for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which will allow the state to provide 16 percent more regular heating assistance to needy Delaware families.“These additional funds are sorely needed, especially given the rising energy costs and downturn in the nation’s economy,” Gov. Minner said. “This will also enable us to again provide assistance with summertime electric bills—a benefit we could not afford to give this year due to helping with energy costs from the previous winter.”
The additional funds became available as a result of a Continuing Resolution signed into law late last month by President Bush, providing unprecedented increased funding to Delaware for energy assistance and weatherization services. The funding will increase from $6.5 million for 2008 to $17.3 million for 2009, a total increase of about $10.8 million that would bring the average benefit amount to $550.
“We also anticipate providing more crisis heating assistance through supplemental emergency energy funding,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Vincent P. Meconi.
In addition, the funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program for 2009 was increased 56 percent, from $731,419 to $1,144,000, which will allow for the weatherization of 381 homes. Last year, the state was able to weatherize 243 homes. An additional $500,000 for weatherization from LIHEAP will allow for weatherizing an additional 166 homes over the previous year.