Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Nearly $8 million approved for heating assistance in Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Thursday, December 08, 2005  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker

Michael Goins

Governor Fletcher signs off on request from Health and Family Services

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher last week approved a budget appropriation increase of nearly $8 million from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to increase the federal appropriations for the Low-Income Heat and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), bringing total Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations for LIHEAP to $23,645,700.   

“While many of us take a warm home for granted, other Kentuckians are struggling to pay to heat their homes to a comfortable level,” said Governor Fletcher. “This administration is dedicated to doing everything we can to help low-income Kentuckians meet this essential need.” 

The enacted FY 06 budget allocation for the energy program in the Department for Community Based Services was $23.1 million. Of that amount, $15.6 million was for the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP.  The balance of $7.5 million is for the weatherization subprogram. Expenditures to date in the energy program total around $10 million. 

The increase of $7,996,000, dated November 30, 2005, was recommended for approval pursuant to grant award letters from the United States Department for Health and Human Services dated September 30 and November 7, 2005. 

Over the past two months, Governor Fletcher met with executives from Kentucky’s electric and natural gas utility companies to discuss ways to provide families with additional assistance. Discussions about other forms of long-term assistance for Kentuckians are ongoing. 

Governor Fletcher reminds Kentuckians that winterizing their homes is imperative to help keep increased energy costs to a minimum. Conservation is the first step all Kentuckians can take to help control rising heating bills. Thermostats should be lowered and efforts made to ensure homes are winter-tight. Many energy companies have information available to customers on steps they can take to conserve energy.