Senator Gillibrand announces some of $1 billion she fought to secure will help New Yorkers defray home energy costs

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – New York State is expecting to see energy bills rise more than 40 percent this winter. Several state, and local leaders say there’s help out there, and announced millions of dollars in assistance for low income residents.

News10NBC finds out just how much will be made available here in the Rochester area.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand just announced that the $1 billion she fought to secure has just been approved, and some of that money will help thousands of New Yorkers defray some of their home energy costs this winter.

“As the days gets shorter, and the weather gets colder, it’s important that we do everything that we can to make sure New Yorkers have what they need to survive,” said Gillbrand.

Standing inside the low income housing development Kennedy Tower, Mayor Malik Evans, Rochester Housing Authority’s Shawn Burr, and other community leaders, joined Gillibrand to talk about LIHEAP. The supplemental Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Gillibrand says $60M has been set aside for the statewide program. Local residents are happy with the news.

“Well for me it’s great. It helps keep me warm, because I have joint arthritis. It helps keeps my joints warm,” said Alberta Ingram.

Yvonne Webb added, “There’s a lot of properties that RGH (Rochester Housing Authority) has, it got a lot of kids. So that’s wonderful for the kids.”

Rochester Gas and Electric reports that the cost of energy can jump as high as 43 percent more than last year.

“That could be hundreds of dollars for families, and that’s hundreds of dollars families can’t afford,” said Gillbrand.

The availability of LIHEAP aid is so crucial for those on fixed incomes.

“Because I don’t have to worry about putting all that money out of my pocket. I get a lot of months where they pay for it. Then I get to do other things with my money. Like help pay all my bills, and help keep food in if I don’t get enough food stamps,” said Ingram.

Dorian Hall, and his mother Dorothy Hall operate the PLEX Neighborhood Association. Both say this is a win especially for the elderly in the community.

“Having the support of Ms. Gillibrand to help support the folks in the community is a savior. It’s big. It could help folks be comfortable, maintain their homes, and be safe when we have those cold winters,” said the younger Hall.

Click here for more information about the LIHEAP Program.