Your Montana Public Radio
Thu February 6, 2014
State boosts funding for LIEAP households due to propane shortage
The state is temporarily boosting the amount of money given to households in the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program that are heated by propane.
Propane prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks, up to $5 dollars per gallon or more in some parts of the state. That’s more than double prices from last year, due to propane shortages in the Midwest.
Governor Steve Bullock authorized the increase in assistance, which comes from the budget of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
About 13 percent of Montana households are heated by propane.
“It’s in many of our rural areas and it’s also some low income Montanans," Bullock said. "No one should be choosing between heating their house and feeding their family.”
The one-time extra funding averages out to about $220 dollars more for propane households in the energy assistance program to fill their tanks.
That money should be in those household accounts by early next week.
Governor Bullock is also extending an emergency declaration to help rectify propane shortages in the state. This declaration suspends restrictions on the amount of overtime commercial truck drivers can work.
Montanans looking for assistance with their propane costs can apply for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program at their local HRDC or Tribal energy assistance office.
Those needing help finding their local office are urged to call 1-800-332-2272.