Requests for fuel assistance up in NH

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Job losses and high energy costs are being blamed for a spike in the number of New Hampshire residents looking for help to pay their heating bill.

Applications for fuel assistance are up 25 percent in New Hampshire this year, making it one of 15 states that has seen an increase of at least 20 percent.

State officials say the struggling economy caused many seeking help to apply early, but the agency typically sees the most applications at the end of March, when the state lifts the winter ban on an electric company shutting off a household’s heat.

The national Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, is expected to reach about 7.3 million households this year 800,000 more than the record set in 1985.

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