Friday, January 13, 2023

Tim Nangle: Emergency energy relief is on the way

By State Senator Tim Nangle

In challenging times, it is more important than ever that we come together as a community to support one another. Mainers help Mainers; that’s just what we do. And in the harsh Maine winters, there is nothing more crucial than ensuring that our neighbors have a warm and safe place to call home. That is why I was honored to vote LD 3, “An Act to Establish the Winter Energy Relief Payment Program to Aid Residents with High Heating Costs and to Finalize the COVID Pandemic Relief Payment Program.”

State Sen. Tim Nangle
This bill, now law, will provide much-needed emergency energy relief payments to those struggling to afford heating costs or at risk of becoming unhoused. First, it allocates $40 million for heating assistance for households eligible for the federal Home Energy Assistance Program, as well as $10 million for emergency fuel deliveries. It also includes $21 million for emergency housing to help prevent Mainers from becoming unhoused or unsheltered during the frigid winter months.

This law also establishes the Winter Energy Relief Payment Program, which provides one-time payments of $450 to eligible Maine residents to help cover the rising costs of energy and heat. People who filed a Maine State income tax return by Oct. 31, 2022 and had an income less than $200,000 if filing a married joint return, $150,000 if filing as a head of household, or $100,000 if filing as a single individual or married individual filing a separate return.

These checks are expected to start rolling out at the end of this month and should be finished by the end of March.

Before I became your state senator, I knocked on hundreds of doors and listened to the concerns of my neighbors. I have heard firsthand the struggles many folks in our community face to heat their homes. It is clear that this is a real and pressing concern for many Mainers.

After a vote on the emergency energy relief plan initially failed, many of you reached out to tell me just how vital this assistance would be for you and your families. The people I’ve spoken with, who were concerned about staying warm this winter, did not care about the technicalities of how the emergency energy relief payment will be distributed – they wanted the peace of mind that they wouldn’t be thrown out on the streets or left to freeze inside their own homes.

It is a no-brainer to me that we should do everything we can to help our neighbors stay warm and safe during the winter. That is why I am glad that this plan could pass and take effect immediately after the Legislature overwhelmingly approved it and Gov. Janet Mills signed it on Jan. 4.

Overall, I am grateful that LD 3 will give much-needed relief to many Maine families. It's clear that this legislation was necessary to provide crucial support to those in need, and I am proud to have played a part in its passage. Mainers cannot afford any more delays to this life-saving support, and I am glad that we got LD 3 to the chambers and it was signed into law as quickly as possible.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, wants to discuss legislation, or needs help connecting with a state agency, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

My email is, and my office phone number is 207-287-1515. Also, you can find me on Facebook at To receive regular updates, sign up for my e-newsletter at <

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