FREDERICTON (CNB) – Application forms for the 2012 Home Energy Assistance Program will be available on Dec. 22. The provincial government has committed to extend the program over the next five years.

"We want to ensure that New Brunswickers are able to care for their families during the cold winter months," said Finance Minister Blaine Higgs. "We expect up to 55,000 individuals will be helped by this program."

The provincial government re-introduced the program in November of 2010.
"We are also committed to extending the program over the next five years so that low income families will have one less thing to worry about," said Social Development Minister Sue Stultz. "Even in these challenging financial times our government recognizes how important it is to provide this program which offers assistance to New Brunswick families who need help paying their heating bills."

The $100 benefit will help low-income families cope with high-energy prices. The benefit will be provided to those who have incomes up to, and including, $28,000 in 2010. Benefits to qualifying applicants will be issued within two to four weeks of a completed application being received.

Individuals may apply by going to the Department of Finance or Service New Brunswick websites or by calling 1-800-669-7070. Forms are also available at Service New Brunswick outlets.

●    Department of Finance: