Heating oil assistance welcome and needed
Oil companies forecasting price of home heating oil will drop in the next few months
Home owners are reaching for the thermostat on a more frequent basis these days and there might be some good news ahead.
Oil companies are forecasting the price of home heating oil will drop in the next few months.
So as the weather gets colder, oil truck operators are getting busy again. So is Mel Boutilier at the Parker Street Food Bank.
He's made it his personal mission to help people put oil in their tanks when they can't afford it.
"We have perhaps five or six calls a day from people who can't put oil in their tank," said Boutilier. "They just don't have the money."
It costs about $850 to fill your tank. That's a major hit to the wallet every five or six weeks. Some people are getting small amounts of oil, about $20 dollars worth from gas stations.
"There are people who are so desperate that they will try to keep the family warm,"said Boutilier. "And they will find enough money to go a gas station and get a five gallon can of diesel oil to get them by for a few days until they find more help or they have to go back to the service station to get another five gallons."
The Parker Street Food Bank raises its own money and tries to help every single person who calls. Boutilier said last winter he shelled out $40,000 to cover people's heating and electricity costs. He even lobbied Nova Scotia Power for assistance and Thursday, he got confirmation they're willing to chip in.
"They have decided to work with us on a matching program that they would make available $20,000 and that is such a great relief."
Boutilier says that contribution will help free up money for heating oil.
The province also announced its heating assistance rebate program is now up and running. People who make less than $27,000 a year are eligible for a rebate of up to $200.
The Good Neighbour Energy Fund through the Salvation Army starts in January.