Thanks goes to Sen. Susan Collins for loudly calling for an increase in LIHEAP funding for low-income families.

She deserves even more kudos for mentioning the importance of weatherization efforts that fix the root cause of the increased need for heating oil funding. All Mainers are feeling the pinch when paying to heat their homes this winter.

During the Baldacci administration, Maine set a bold goal: to weatherize 100 percent of its homes and 50 percent of its businesses by 2030. Sen. Collins has highlighted the importance of this work to provide comfort to Mainers while providing good jobs and keeping energy dollars within the state.

Mainers are fortunate to have Efficiency Maine programs in place, which have spawned new businesses, hundreds of new green jobs and incentives for home weatherization.

Sen. Collins has previously highlighted the importance of these programs when she met with Sierra Club’s Green Sneakers high school students.

They’re trained as volunteers to engage homeowners to evaluate their homes’ energy systems, pointing the way to financial and professional energy resources and services available to help with some obvious concerns around high heating bills, moisture and need for air sealing.

I thank Sen. Collins for her support to encourage, as the Portland Press Herald (“Our View: Insulation, sealing better way to cut Maine heating assistance costs,” Jan. 7) rightly points out, “Congress to put more muscle behind weatherization programs now.”

Joan B. Saxe

Sierra Club Maine Energy Team

Freeport