Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (R,I,C,WF-Sag Harbor) today commended leaders in Washington for recognizing the importance of making sure that New Yorkers do not freeze this winter. Total home energy assistance funds provided through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) for New York State will total $448 million.
“I applaud Washington for noticing the potential crisis that could have occurred this winter,” said Thiele. “With skyrocketing energy costs, some people simply cannot adjust to the new prices without some assistance. This amount far exceeds last season’s funding and I hope this will avert an emergency situation. I called for maximum funding and I am glad those calls were answered.”
Last year, New York State received $251 million in formula funding. This year, that number will be $476 million, which is almost double. In addition to formula funds, contingency funds will be released for emergency purposes. In contingency funding, New York will receive $12.1 million for a total of $448 million for the 2008-2009 season.
“Although there will be funds available, we must also practice methods to conserve energy. Energy saving practices such as preventing drafts and other methods to keep the warm air inside will not only lower energy bills, but also ensure that money is available if there is a deep freeze,” concluded Thiele.