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Sen. Libby: Home Heating Help is Available This Winter

Guest Column by Sen. Nate Libby

AUGUSTA, ME (September 17, 2022) — Even though we’ve been lucky to enjoy some beautiful warm days this month, there’s no denying that cooler weather is just around the corner. Fall and winter in Maine offer so much to enjoy, from the changing foliage to winter sports. But this time of year also brings stress for those who struggle to keep their homes warm. As we prepare for another winter where energy and home heating prices are expected to strain the budgets of families across the state, it’s important you know that there is help available to keep your lights on and your home warm. 

The Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, is a federally funded assistance program that helps income-qualified home owners and renters pay for heating costs. This program is administered by different community agencies all over the state, and in Androscoggin County that agency is Community Concepts. (In the interest of transparency, I am employed by Community Concepts directing programs not related to HEAP). While you can apply for HEAP at most points throughout the year, it is recommended that you do so as early as possible – so if you feel you may benefit from this program, don’t wait. You can begin the application process by calling Community Concepts at 1-800-866-5588, and you can find more information about HEAP by visiting If you ever find yourself in need of an emergency fuel supply or in danger of having your utilities shut off by your utility company, there could be additional help available, so be sure to reach out and ask for help if you need it. 

Those who are eligible for HEAP may also be able to receive additional help in making updates and repairs to home energy systems. This includes weatherization updates to make your home more energy-efficient and heating system repair and replacement. Finally, HEAP’s sister program, LIAP, can help you keep the lights on in your home by providing a credit on your electricity bill. Income guidelines also apply here, but you can discuss your LIAP eligibility during your HEAP intake appointment. 

Another program that can help you pay for utilities is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, also administered by Community Concepts for residents of Androscoggin County. This program can help you pay for rent and utilities dating back to the beginning of the pandemic if you meet income guidelines and had your ability to pay these bills impacted by the pandemic. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through this month, so apply now if you need this assistance. If you’re not a renter but a homeowner facing similar circumstances, the Homeowner Assistance Fund may be able to provide you with help. Visit to learn more. 

No one should have to make the hard choice between keeping their lights on or their home warm and putting food on the table. While fuel and energy prices are greatly influenced by global factors, my colleagues and I in the Legislature have focused on doing what we can to keep prices down. This includes passing bills this year to improve access to existing relief programs by cutting red tapegiving consumers a louder voice in the electric rate-setting process and making sure our utilities are accountable first and foremost to Maine consumers, not to their investors. We’ve also focused on making our energy grid more independent and reliable, so that it can carry us to and through the future.

 As always, I am here to help you and your family however I can. If you have questions about these programs or need help finding other resources, never hesitate to reach out. You can send me an email at or call my office at (207) 287-1515 any time. You can also sign up for my regular email updates by visiting

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