FREDERICTON – Applications are now available for the 2017 Home Energy Assistance Program to help low-income families cope with high energy bills.

"Our government is focused on improving the lives of New Brunswickers,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “This program gives families and individuals financial support in the coldest months of the year.”

The one-time payment of $100 will be provided to households with a total income of up to and including $30,000 in 2015.

The provincial government renewed the program, previously set to expire in 2016, for an additional five years, and raised the income threshold from the previous level of $28,000.

“Our government is committed to supporting families and children, and the changes to the program will give more families access,” said Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman. “This funding can be a critical safety net that allows them to keep their homes warm, safe and comfortable."

The program is one of several available to help families in need.

More than 47,400 applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program were received in 2016 for a total benefit to families of about $4.74 million.‎ Individuals may obtain an application form by going to the Department of Finance website, by contacting the department at 1-800-669-7070, or at Service New Brunswick centres.

The deadline to apply for the 2017 benefit is June 30.