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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Several millions of dollars will be needed to help low-income families pay their heating bills this winter.
That's according to preliminary figures from the governor's office.
The state's HEAT program, which provides one-time funding for qualifying recipients, is expected to receive around 14 (M)million dollars this season. Although that figure is the same as last year, it's not expected to be enough to cover additional need brought by rising heating costs.
Governor Huntsman's energy policy adviser Laura Nelson says at a minimum they're probably looking at a three (M)million dollar shortfall. Huntsman says with no more federal dollars coming to Utah, and no state appropriation expected, the gap must be bridged using private donations.
Nelson says the governor's office expects to unveil a plan next week to solicit such assistance. The governor also plans to appeal to the state's two largest energy utilities to offer assistance to Utahns in need.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)