Schumer in Colonie to discuss high cost of home heating

COLONIE – With winter approaching, many of us are getting ready to turn the heat on in our homes.

Sen. Chuck Schumer was at the Colonie Senior Services Center on Monday morning to talk about the higher cost of heating our homes.

Home heating prices in some cases could go up 31% this winter. He says the recent spike in prices is due to the pandemic.

"The supply chains are bad. It’s affecting every industry, and the shutdown of the global economy months ago is not at pace with reopening," said Schumer. "So supply and demand translates into costs, and home heating oil is one of its victims."

Schumer reminded the crowd federal programs like HEAP can help you pay your winter bills.

Around 69,000 seniors live in Albany County and about 15,000 use the Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, to help heat their homes. COVID has increased that number.

AARP says across the state, one million households signed up for HEAP last year, but more than two million were eligible.

While at the Colonie Senior Center, the senator announced two things. First, a push to get the federal government to release money for HEAP now instead of waiting until the end of the year. Second, he’s calling to add $100 million to the upcoming budget for this starting December 3.

All this as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global supply chains.

Last year in the Capital Region, 55,000 homes needed financial help to keep the heat on, totaling $20 million.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • 20,501 homes in Albany County
  • 12,993 homes in Saratoga County
  • 12,340 homes in Schenectady County
  • 11,050 in Rensselaer County

MORE INFORMATION: New York State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) | Heating assistance (National Grid) | Heating Assistance Tips from National Grid | Energy saving tips at home from National Grid

DIGITAL EXTRA: Schumer’s full news conference in Colonie