With energy costs spiraling upwards and winter around the corner adding the expense of home heating oil, Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation he called "the largest energy relief package this state has ever seen."

The legislation, which was introduced and passed in just one day, creates a state emergency fuel assistance program and a supplemental electric benefit using surplus funds from the state budget. The bill also makes an appropriation to the Department of Energy for the electric low-income program fund.

The one-time $42 million program serves to help New Hampshire residents who earn between 60-75% of the state median income and need relief because of reduced buying power.

The bill provides a one-time $450 credit for fuel and $200 electric credit. The funds will be paid directly to utilities and providers.

“While this final legislation looks a little different from what we originally proposed, this is a big win, and I’d like to thank Speaker Packard and Senate President Morse for getting this across the finish line. Thanks to strong fiscal management, New Hampshire is able to invest state-surplus funds to help families get through this winter.”

Democrats told InDepthNH.org that they tried to add an amendment about renewable energy that was killed by Republicans.

State Sen. Tom Sherman, who is running against Sununu, told inDepthNH he was disappointed that Republicans turned down those amendments, and was concerned the state is losing out on a chance at high paying jobs, lower energy costs, and dealing with climate change in a meaningful way.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

Trending Stories for Seacoast Current (August 22-28, 2022)

More From Seacoast Current