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Gorham can Benefit from Heating Assistance

CUMBERLAND COUNTY (February 3, 2023) — Heating assistance is a fundamental element of health, well-being, self-sufficiency, and economic mobility. Families struggling due to hardships caused by COVID-19 are at greater risk for energy insecurity. With more than 60 percent of Maine homes reliant on heating oil, compared to 4 percent nationally and between 24-42 percent elsewhere in New England, Maine is the most heating oil-dependent state in the country. 

Cumberland County recognizes these factors are directly contributing to a grim winter forecast for low-income families who face impossible choices among essential needs such as food, heat, and medicine. To address these and other negative economic impacts of the pandemic on households in our community Cumberland County created the Keeping Cumberland County Warm Program. 

The County will rely on the general assistance department of each participating municipality to assist with program administration. Cumberland County residents will meet with local General Assistance administrators to determine income eligibility for the Keeping Cumberland County Warm Program.

Program Eligibility:

To be eligible for Keeping Cumberland County Warm, you must be a resident of Cumberland County, Maine and you must need financial assistance with home energy costs. Funding is to support heating assistance in the form of oil, wood, wood pellets, Kerosene, and propane. The County will support funding sources that include Electric or Natural gas, however, the bill needs to clearly outline the costs increase from what is normal usage vs winter time increases. So it is clear the funds are specifically targeting heating costs only. To be eligible, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the income guidelines outlined in the chart posted on

Eligible activities are limited to heating assistance. 

Eligible expenses for heating assistance include:

• Oil

• Wood

• Propane

• Natural Gas

• Electricity

• kerosene

• Wood Pellets

All utility bills provided must clearly outline the cost increase specific to wintertime heating vs. normal usage. It needs to be clear the funds are specifically targeting heating costs only. GA will work with the vendors to provide direct payment on behalf of the client. Vendors should be reputable and reasonable in cost when compared to the current market rate pricing. Under no circumstances will cash payments be provided to clients or vendors.

Ineligible Expenses

Ineligible expenses are items that are not heating assistance. Expenses must follow the outlined distribution of funds requirements. Examples of ineligible expenses include:

• Cash payments

• Rental Assistance

• Using County funds to supplement GA expenses.

• Food assistance

• All other expenses not related to heating assistance

• Surplus of supply, request must be reasonably proportional to need. For example, a client may not request 15 tons of wood pellets to create a stockpile.

Gorham is participating in this program (some towns due to capacity restraints are not able to offer the program at this time). Cumberland County is the fiscal agent awarding funds to participating local municipalities. Keeping Cumberland County Warm is a grant program for municipalities to access. Only those Cumberland County municipalities that chose to participate in the program receive funding. The County depends on the general assistance department of each participating municipality to assist with program administration.

Gorham’s information: Contact Rene Daniel at or 207-892-1906

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