SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As temperatures start to drop in Massachusetts, the state is looking for ways to help residents manage what are expected to be high heating bills this winter.
22News is working for you, on how the state is trying to get ahead of what could be a big issue for people. These high bills are a residual impact of the war in Ukraine. Governor Charlie Baker is urging the federal government to step in and help.
Last week, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs warned residents that Massachusetts will be more vulnerable to record-breaking natural gas prices. In the name of climate change, Massachusetts Senate leaders have continued to pass legislation that imposes new restrictions, regulations, and expenses on consumers. According to MassFiscal, winter energy consumption is not uncommon in New England, but recent policies are restricting important energy suppliers and increasing prices unnecessarily.
There has been a greater emphasis on climate change discussions than on affordable energy goals among politicians, from President Biden to Governor Baker, Speaker Mariano to Senate President Spilka. As Governor Baker gave a lecture on climate change last week at the Clinton Foundation in New York City, his Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions warned that “this winter will be, at best, a very expensive energy winter.”
Prompting the governor to flag Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program as an area where state and federal funds could help residents get through the winter.
Those who can apply for assistance are renters and homeowners whose household income does not exceed 60 percent of the estimated medical income. For the fiscal year 2023, that’s just over 80,000 for a four-person household.
State leaders believe the federal government will need to step in. Baker joins six other New England governors who reached out to the White House for energy aid. However, the White House has yet to respond to these requests.