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Maryland making more state money available to heat homes
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Published 10 December 2008 by Cumberland Times-News (original article)

Although fuel prices have gone back down after this year's peak, many working families will still have a challenge heating their homes due to recession-related financial difficulties. The money available to help heat the homes of low-income Maryland families has more than tripled from a winter ago, going from $35 million to $110 million. “Maryland’s working families are the cornerstone of our economy, but are also the most significantly impacted.”

Published 10 December 2008 by Cumberland Times-News, http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_345232353.html

[While assistance for heating bills may be a short-term necessity, investment in weatherizing homes and other energy efficiency measures is probably a better investment for the state and its citizens in the slightly longer short-term. This is an EXCERPT: read the whole article here. -Ed.]

By Michael A. Sawyers

The money available to help heat the homes of low-income Maryland families has more than tripled from a winter ago, going from $35 million to $110 million, according to an announcement by the state’s governor and its two U.S. senators.

The federal funding, to be channeled through local offices of the Human Resources Development Commission, is expected to help pay the heating bills for more than 102,000 homes in Maryland.

“There is no way to realistically determine an average heating bill for those who qualify for assistance,” Tolson said Tuesday. “It depends upon the fuel type and the setting of the thermostat. There are a lot of variables.”

“These are historically difficult times and Maryland is not immune from the national economic downturn,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley. “Maryland’s working families are the cornerstone of our economy, but are also the most significantly impacted.”

Photo credit: Harlan Harris

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