Friday, February 24, 2023

Rep. Jane Pringle: Heating help is on the way

By State Rep. Jane Pringle, D-Windham

Maine Revenue Services has announced that it has begun mailing out the first wave of $450 winter energy relief checks to an estimated 880,000 eligible Maine residents as part of 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 which the Legislature enacted with bipartisan support in early January.

State Rep. Jane Pringle
represents Windham in
the Maine House of 
I was proud to vote for this legislation when it was being considered in the legislature, which will help many Windham residents be able to survive during these cold months while my colleagues and I in Augusta work on long-term solutions to address high energy costs. The direct payments will help assist in paying for all types of heating, not just oil, and give families the flexibility to spend the money as they see fit.

Many people will receive their checks this month, and all eligible recipients should have them by the end of March. As outlined in LD 3, the income thresholds to receive a check are consistent with those for the $850 inflation relief checks that were sent last year: $100,000 if filing single or if married and filing separately, $150,000 if filing as a head of household or $200,000 for married couples filing jointly.

You can find more information about the winter energy relief payments at

Additionally, LD 3 provided $40 million to supplement the Home Energy Assistance Program, $10 million to Maine Community Action Partnerships such as The Opportunity Alliance serving Windham and all of Cumberland County to help deliver emergency fuel assistance and $21 million to bolster the Emergency Housing Relief Fund, which supports emergency housing and shelters.

If you feel you are not in need for the relief payment, consider donating your check to local organizations that make a large impact in our community daily such as Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Windham Food Pantry, or a charity of your choice.

This legislation will also provide a critical lifeline for low-and middle-income Maine families at a time when it is desperately needed. For many in our community that are working hard but not earning enough, I truly understand the chronic stress balancing whether or not to heat your home while also having to meet other financial obligations.

If you are truly in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to someone. One of the things I love about Windham is that we take care of each other, and no one should have to face these situations that reach a critical breaking point alone.

As the legislature continues its work in the coming months, I will look to your guidance and advice on how we can continue to drive down energy costs in our community.

Finally, if you are in need of any assistance or other state resources regarding heating or other matters, please contact me by email at 

Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Augusta.

Rep. Jane Pringle is serving her second non-consecutive term in the Maine House of Representatives, having previously served from 2012-2014. She is currently a member of the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee in the 131st Maine Legislature. <




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