Weik Pushes Legislation To Cut Home Heating Oil Bills
State Senator Alexis Weik today announced that she has introduced legislation to provide homeowners with a one-time rebate for home heating oil costs that have soared in the past year amid raging inflation.
Senator Weik’s bill, S.8877, would provide homeowners with a rebate check up to $500, based on the number of gallons of No. 2 heating oil purchased. That amount represents about half the increased cost of fuel oil, based on current prices.
“Amidst record-high inflation, Long Island consumers are reeling from higher prices on everything from groceries to gasoline, and are facing a new shock over the next few weeks as they begin to renew their annual contracts for home heating oil,” said Senator Weik (R-C, Sayville). “I’m pleased that we were able to provide at least some relief in the new State Budget by cutting the per-gallon tax on gasoline. Now, we need to take the next step and help homeowners who are worried about how they can afford to keep their homes warm and safe next winter.”
Senator Weik was a leader in the successful fight to roll back New York’s gas tax, which will lower the price at the pump by at least 16 cents-per-gallon beginning June 1.
The average price for home heating oil on Long Island has risen 62% since last year—topping $5 a gallon, according to the most recent weekly survey by the NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency.
Under Senator Weik’s bill, NYSERDA would be responsible for collecting consumer information from energy providers and sending a rebate check directly to homeowners based on how much heating oil they use.
Nearly half of households in Suffolk County—238,000—rely on fuel oil for winter heating. In Nassau, the number is closer to one-third.
Higher consumer prices across the board have resulted in record sales tax collections for the state and its counties. The state Comptroller estimates that local sales tax collections in the first three months of this year grew by nearly $1 billion, with state government expected to show a similar increase. That is more than enough additional revenue to pay for the cost of the heating oil rebate program.
Senator Weik’s bill was sent to the Senate’s Energy Committee.