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Soaring home heating prices have many Vermonters feeling the pinch

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Barr, Vermont (WCAX) – Many Vermonters struggle with the cost of heating their homes. High fuel prices are hitting everyone’s wallets, but it’s especially hard for low-income residents who don’t qualify for heating subsidies.

Matthew Lavoy lives in a group home in Barre. His rent recently went up by $100, and one of the reasons is his due to the increase in the cost of heating the house.

“It may not seem like much to many people, but for me, $100 is one-third of my weekly income,” says Lavoy.

The war in Ukraine, global supply chain problems and inflation have caused home heating prices to skyrocket.

Home heating oil has jumped to about $5 a gallon in some parts of Vermont.

It’s just one of the pressures on the family.

“Supply chain issues, all prices, people’s food and even the benefits of Three Square. They’re here for the pantry and energy. capstone community action.

The state provides assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. This fall, a delegation from the Vermont Legislature secured her $27 million for the program, and state legislators recently approved another $5 million to help Vermonters get through the winter. But that fuel assistance is based on federal poverty levels, with a lower cutoff in Vermont.

“We have a lot of new people coming to our door who have never asked for help because it exceeds the income for fuel assistance from the state,” Rossi said.

Rossi says he doesn’t qualify if he works 40 hours a week and earns more than $12.15 an hour.

Community Action Agencies offer some remedies for those who do not qualify for LIHEAP.

Rossi also said he is helping retired seniors who are working ahead of inflation.

“It’s a cycle where they can’t live on what Social Security provides and they earn too much to access other programs. That was a common theme this year,” said Rossi.

Locals I spoke to at Barr said some local fuel companies are also working with people in Vermont to fill up their tanks now and heating their homes won’t be that big of an issue later this year. He says he’s trying to get them to pay.

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