NM Utility Assistance Program

New Mexico – The New Mexico Human Services Department is asking poor homeowners who need help their energy bills this winter to apply to a state assistance program.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps families pay for natural gas, electricity and bulk fuels, like propane, firewood and wood pellets.

The department says nearly 70,000 New Mexico households participated in the program last year.

The one-time benefit this year is expected to average $150.

Families in the program also will have a moratorium on utility disconnections from Nov. 15 to March 15.

Households qualifying for the program must be at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For example, a household of three with monthly income of $2,289 could qualify.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.