Heating Assistance

By: Kelly Creswell Email
By: Kelly Creswell Email

Another night with freezing temperatures could force people all over the Valley to crank up the heat, but a state-funded program may leave some with no choice but to conserve the heating oil they have.

The funds for the heating assistance program are staying put despite high oil prices. It's a limited amount of money that people can get from the state to pay for their heating oil.

However, when that money runs out, the rest has to come right out of their pockets. As of Thursday, oil costs rose to more than $3 a gallon.

For many people on the heating assistance program, this covers less than 100 gallons for the winter. Some oil suppliers have elected not to participate because it doesn't bring in much profit.

"With the gallons going down in many cases, the assistance only pays for less than 100 gallons, which makes the efficiency of our deliveries not what it used to be. Two or three years ago, the same customers were getting two- to 300 gallons," says Irvin Armentrout, general manager of Rockingham Petroleum.

While Rockingham Petroleum participates in the program, Armentrout says the state isn't giving out any more money to counteract for the higher price of oil.

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