ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Senator Gillibrand was in Elmira today as she announced that 60 million dollars will be invested into the low-income home energy assistance program.

Home heating bills are expected to increase at least 25% this winter. Senator Gillibrand thinks that this investment will have a significant impact on those in the Southern tier.

“It’s not enough to make people be able to afford all the heating they might want but it’s enough to defray their costs,” Gillibrand said.

Chemung County has received 6 million dollars from the H.E.A.P. program for years 2021-22. Brian Hart, the Commissioner of Human Services, shared that around 6,900 people have benefited from this program.

Senator Gillibrand also made it a point to share her thoughts on what should be done to help lower energy costs for the Southern tier and the U.S. as a whole.

“We need to be energy independent,” Gillibrand said. “We should never be beholden on access to energy from any other country. We should be investing much more in renewable energy.”