Federal budget cuts to heating assistance programs could hurt one Philadelphia utility and its customers in the city.
A $2.5 billion reduction in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will hit the Philadelphia Gas Works hard. Cameron Kline, a spokesman for the utility, said many Philadelphians rely on the assistance they receive through the program.
In the last two years, “100 thousand Philadelphians received a LIHEAP grant and the total dollar amount was $50 million in aid. The average grant size was $500,” said Kline.
With fewer funds available for assistance, Kline said, “That means there will probably be more people who can’t pay for the gas that they have used and we will probably have to shut off more.”
Kline said PGW doesn’t want to shut off customers’ heat. But he said the utility will have no choice if people cannot afford to pay their bills. He said, as usual, service terminations would be put on hold until spring.