October 27, 2010

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $41 MILLION GRANT TO HELP FAMILIES PAY ENERGY BILLS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (Both D-Md.) today announced Maryland will receive more than $41 million to prevent Marylanders from having to choose between paying their heating and cooling bills and paying for food and medicine.

The $41,073,570 Low Income House Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant will help low-income families, seniors with fixed incomes and people with disabilities pay for heating costs through the coldest months of winter. Without this crucial program, hundreds of families in Maryland could face utility shutoffs.

"We have all felt the pain of high energy costs, but it presents a real danger to low-income families who may face a winter without heat," said Senator Cardin. "As colder weather approaches, I want struggling Maryland families to know that this grant will help provide the assistance they need to pay their energy bills." 

 "This grant will provide critical assistance to Maryland families in need," Senator Mikulski said. "Too many people feel stretched and strained by high energy costs. These funds will provide immediate relief, so no family is forced to choose between paying the heating bill and putting food on the table."

Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski also support efforts to weatherize homes to lower heating and cooling bills. October 30 is National Weatherization Day. Families receiving weatherization services see their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $437, depending on fuel prices. Because the energy improvements that make up weatherization services are long lasting, the savings add up to substantial benefits for families and their communities.

Under the Recovery Act, the Obama Administration made unprecedented investments to help build America's clean energy future, including $5 billion to significantly ramp up the pace of weatherization in the United States. Governor Martin O'Malley and his administration has used these funds to weatherize more than 3,000 homes in Maryland since June 2009.