AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While many Mainers have been enjoying fantastic weather this summer, it won't be long before we go from the air conditioning to turning up the heat.
This year, with oil prices climbing, things could be tighter than ever for some Mainers. State officials expect to receive about $5 million less in federal heating assistance this winter compared to last year.
The projection is based on President Obama's proposed budget which includes a 13 percent cut for Low Income Home Energy Assistance, nationwide.
According to the Maine Housing Authority, if Congress passes the President's budget as now proposed, Maine would get $33.5 million this winter. Last year, Maine received $38.5 million. Even though it's sunny and warm, now is the time to start thinking about the upcoming heating season.
"Don't wait," says Kristen Figueroa of the Maine Housing Authority. "Call you community agency now. If you think you are eligible, if you want to know if your eligible, then make the appointment. Don't wait."
More than 58,000 Maine households received LIHEAP funds last year, at an average benefit of $484. If the budget passes, the benefit will drop to about $463 per household.