Low-income and homebound seniors can start getting help with their winter heating bills this month. But with federal budget cuts and the fiscal-cliff threat, there’s likely to be less money to go around this year.
Georgia received another $27 million from the federal government this month for home-heating assistance for the poor. But many of the 20 community action agencies around the state who disperse the money have long waiting lists and official said the infusion of cash will not be enough to clear them.
The state Public Service Commission has approved spending $10 million to help low-income residents pay their heating bills. The money comes from a fund Atlanta Gas Light uses to extend pipelines to where homes and businesses are being built. The PSC asked AGL to curb its 2012 project requests to make the heating assistance available.
Federal funds to help the poor pay heating bills have already been exhausted across the state. Usually, the money helps thousands of poor Georgians, but Congress has not funded the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and money has run out in Athens, Augusta, Macon and Savannah.