Governor announces $450 Energy Relief Payments in the mail

AUGUST Gov. Janet Mills announced that the first round of $450 in winter energy relief payments will be mailed to eligible Maine taxpayers today. The $450 winter assistance payments are part of Gov. Mills’ energy emergency plan to help keep people in Maine warm and safe this winter amid record-breaking energy costs.

Maine Revenue Services, a division of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), is today mailing the first 5,000 relief checks through the US Postal Service. Payments are expected to hit mailboxes later this week. Maine Revenue Services will be writing an estimated 200,000 checks a week starting next week the vast majority of Qualifying Maine individuals are expected to receive their payment by the end of March.

“High energy prices have made it difficult for Maine families to stay warm this winter. That’s why I’ve proposed – and happily signed – an emergency response effort that will quickly put money back in the hands of the people of Maine,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “Starting next week, the people of Maine will receive their $450 relief payment to ease the burden of increased energy costs. I thank lawmakers for approving this emergency measure and look forward to working with lawmakers to implement policies that will reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency over the long term.”

“As the Maine people face high energy costs, Governor Mills has directed us to distribute the energy relief payments as soon as possible, and I am pleased to say we have met our goal of sending them out before the end of January,” he said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.We will continue to work hard to ensure that all checks are dispatched as quickly as possible.”

There is nothing a person has to do to receive their $450 payment. Eligible recipients are those who:

• filed their 2021 income tax returns for Maine individuals who are full-time residents of the state by October 31, 2022 for the 2021 tax year;

• not be claimed as dependent on the return of another,

• and a federally adjusted gross income (FAGI) of less than:

• $100,000 if you are single or married and applying separately;

• $150,000 if enrolled as head of household; or

• $200,000 for couples applying together.

The mill administration has also published a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at to answer questions about the energy relief payments.

In addition to the $450 payment, Governor Mills Winter Emergency Relief Plan also provides additional energy, heating, and housing assistance, including: • $40 million to supplement the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistant Program administered by MaineHousing as a HEAP for an average total benefit of $1,600 to $2,200. The program pays money directly to recipient fuel vendors throughout the season. For details see MaineHousing HEAP webpage. • $10 million to Maine Community Action Programs to help them provide emergency fuel relief to prevent people and families from running out of heating oil and experiencing a heating crisis. With this additional funding, an estimated 12,500 households will be eligible for up to $800 in emergency funds to help avert a heat crisis.

• $21 million to increase the Emergency Housing Relief Fund, established by Gov. Mills and the legislature in 2022 to support emergency housing in communities across Maine. In particular, these funds will be used to extend housing benefits to individuals and families currently staying in hotels on a temporary basis; expanding support for shelters and other efforts to help individuals and families affected by homelessness; and help establish warm centers in communities around Maine to ensure people and families have a safe, warm place in the cold months ahead.

For resources to help Maine residents and families save money, improve their home’s energy efficiency, and find help with heating when needed, visit the Governor’s Office of Energy updated winter heating guide.

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