With record cold temperatures continuing to blanket the state, Governor Steve Bullock announced on Thursday that he is taking steps to help Montanans combat the impacts of the recent price spikes, caused in part by propane shortages in the Midwest.

Dave Parker with the governor's office said Bullock has authorized a one-time-only increase in benefits for Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) households whose primary heating fuel is propane:

"With the cold spike, propane prices in Montana have sky rocketed," Parker said. "They're normally around $2.00 per gallon. They're now in excess of $5.00 per gallon which, obviously, puts a burden on Montana families who heat their homes with propane."

Parker said about 13 percent of Montana families heat their homes using propane. However, Governor Steve Bullock is giving some leverage to these families when it comes to this shortage.

"The governor issued an executive order," Parker said. "It's a one-time-only increase of 25 percent in benefits for low income energy assistant program households. So, the average benefit is going to be about $221 that those families can then use to help offset the increase costs in propane."

Parker said people who qualify for LIEAP will automatically get the 25 percent leverage added to their account.

For Montanans who don't qualify for LIEAP, Parker said, people may still qualify for assistance through Energy Assistance Montana.

For more information about Energy Share Montana, call 888-779-7589, or visit EnergyShareMT.com.