Hoyer: Utilities Cut Service as Many on Main Street Struggle to Pay Bills

For Immediate Release:

November 3, 2008

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WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding reports of utility companies increasingly turning off services for families behind in payments:

“Winter has arrived, and with the cold weather comes another difficulty for families hit hard by the bad economy – paying to heat their homes.

A story in the Wall Street Journal describes how many utility companies are under pressure to balance their books by cutting service to millions of customers with delinquent accounts, at the same time that this number is on the rise.

“In September, Congress enacted into law the FY09 Continuing Resolution providing $2.5 billion above FY08 funding levels for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This additional funding will provide 2 million more families essential assistance to pay their rising home energy bills. Anyone struggling with their heating costs should check with their state LIHEAP office to see if they are eligible for this program.

“America will recover from this economic downturn. But as winter quickly approaches, we must ensure that our children and families are kept safe and warm while they work to get back on their feet.”

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