In light of new federal projections about the rising costs of home heating oil this coming winter, U.S. Sen. John Kerry has sent a letter to President Obama requesting $5.1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Federal projections estimate home heating oil costs of $3.71 a gallon, with the average household paying $2,500 for heating oil this winter.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Thursday advised consumers to get ready to deal with the costs, which are expected to rise upward of 10 percent this winter.
"[It] means doing some homework around what their plan is, for instance, with their heating oil company," Coakley said. "Is it a good one? Do you want to compare with other companies? Do you want to cap a price? Do you want to look at locking a price in? You should get your oil burners cleaned. You need to insulate your house if you haven't done that."
Despite her advice, Coakley acknowledged that the projections will pose a challenge.
"It will be a huge issue for some seniors, for people whose unemployment insurance has run out," Coakley said. "There will be a lot of people who have trouble meeting those heating oil prices."
This program aired on October 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.