Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey announced today that the province would renew its $800,000 contribution to the Good Neighbour Energy Fund for 2016.
The Salvation Army administers the fund, which helps cover the costs of heating the homes of families in need.
Last year, the program kept the heat on in 1,757 households.
Salvation Army representative Alison Cowling said, “My heart is warmed when I think that through the generosity of…our government, that we can…keep people warm this winter.”
Furey also announced a change that would increase the program’s accessibility, in hopes that the program this year will reach even more families in need.
Previously, if applicants had received support, they would have to wait three years before becoming eligible for the program a second time. This year, that waiting period was reduced to two years.
“We believe that the changes we’ve made will have a positive impact in the sense that we’ll see more people applying and receiving the emergency heating support,” said Furey.
The Good Neighbour Energy Fund accepts applications from Jan. 15 to April 15.
Furey also reminded Nova Scotians that in addition to the emergency support of the Good Neighbour Energy Fund, the province also offers lower-income residents a $200 rebate on their heating expenses through the Heating Assistance Rebate Program.