Feeling The Squeeze Of Rising Energy Prices? State Agencies Say Look Into Relief Programs
While most folks certainly noticed the sharp rise of fuel costs at the pump this week, when gassing up their cars, a lot of Mainers will really feel the impact the next time they fill up their home heating oil tanks.
Coupled with the rising prices of seemingly everything else, like electricity and groceries, Mainers are experiencing sticker shock every time they look at their receipts. And most of us are wondering how we're ever going to make ends meet, at this point.
The Governor's Energy Office released a statement this week, advising Maine residents to seek out relief programs if they're struggling with the increase in costs.
"With energy prices experiencing unprecedented volatility following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Governor’s Energy Office is encouraging Maine people to explore options for relief from rising prices for home heating fuel and electricity. The Mills Administration has also taken steps in recent weeks to deliver financial relief to Maine people and families from rising energy prices. This month, eligible utility customers of CMP and Versant will see one-time bill credits of $90 through a rate relief initiative from the Governor’s Energy Office and the Office of the Public Advocate."
The Public Utilities Commission is also making good use of federal stimulus funds set aside for the HEAP program, by approving 90-thousand customers for a rate-relief plan.
Even Versant Power is offering a "Budget Billing Option" for customers, which aims to lessen the impact of rate increases on monthly budgets by allowing folks to pay over time.
"Budget billing is a free, stable payment plan. It levels your monthly payments by averaging the amount you pay each month. With Versant's budget billing, you can avoid spikes in your bill caused by seasonal changes in your energy usage."
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is also offering tips on how folks can try to keep their energy costs down. They released some information on their social media pages today, with links to sites that can help you track things like the most current fuel prices.
The bottom line to help you with your own bottom line is to stay informed, make sure your furnaces and vehicles are in top working order, lock in your prices when possible, take advantage of rebates and relief programs, and reach out if you need assistance.