WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) — More low-income U.S. residents are seeking help in paying their heating bills, local utility service providers say.
Even though energy prices are falling, a jump in the number of people seeking financial help, triggered by job losses and the recession, has canceled out any gains from the pricing situation, USA Today reported Monday.
“The overwhelming need we have (for heating aid) far surpasses any of our resources,” Dave Dexheimer of Douglass Community Services in Hannibal, Mo., told the newspaper. He said his group is getting 25 percent more calls than a year ago, but has seen its state heating funds fall from $100,000 in 2008 to $60,000 this year.
Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association reportedly said funding for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is likely to be about the same in fiscal year 2010 as it was in 2009 at $5.1 billion.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International