May 07, 2021

State will not cover costs of generators, heat sources

AUGUSTA — The state will not reimburse Maine homeowners for generators they had to rent or buy during the ice storm, Human Services Commissioner Kevin Concannon said Thursday.

The state also decided it will not cover the cost of space heaters, firewood and other forms of alternative heat while the power was out.

Concannon explained that federal law does not allow the state to restrict grants for such expenses on the basis of incomes.

“That kind of income limit would have resulted in people with extremely high incomes and assets being eligible for this program, costing potentially millions of dollars in state and federal funds,” Concannon said.

“We concluded this would be an unwarranted expense to Maine taxpayers and to the federal government,” he said.

However, matching grants will be given for repairing primary homes and making them sanitary, and replacing essential personal property like appliances if insurance is not available.

The Human Services Department administers federal and state emergency management grants. The federal government pays three-quarters of the cost.

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