Heating assistance cut effect on RI

PROVIDENCE, RI – President Obama's plan to cut nearly by half funds for LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, may not hurt Rhode Island too badly.

Last year, Rhode Island received $29 million for LIHEAP but spent only $23 million. The President's proposal would reduce federal funding this year to roughly $13 million. But with the $6 million rollover from last year the Ocean State should be in good shape says Kenneth Payne, administrator of the state Office of Energy Resources.

"We're going to be tight but it looks like we're going to be OK but tight."

Payne says funds from the Henry Shelton Act should also help keep Rhode Islanders warm. The act named for the Providence man who has worked tirelessly for the poor, places a surcharge on gas and electricity customers not to exceed $10 a year to subsidize heat for low income customers.

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