Study says more families seeking home heat aid

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A new survey says New Hampshire is one of 15 states expecting increases of 21 percent or more in the number of households getting aid for home heating fuel.

The government last fall nearly doubled fuel assistance, releasing over $5 billion to states for this winter. Cold-weather state lawmakers had for years sought the increase for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides heating and cooling subsidies for the poor.

As part of the federal funding increase, state officials were able to expand eligibility for assistance and to boost benefit levels.

The study by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, which represents state-run low-income energy assistance programs, says about about 7 million households are expected to get fuel aid this winter.

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