Thumbs up: To the state Department of Public Welfare, for extending the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for an extra two weeks this year.
And two big thumbs up to Mother Nature for the spate of high temperatures that helped make that possible.
The Welfare Department cited "the state's efficient management" of the program that helps people cover home heating costs for the extra aid.
And we don't doubt that played a role in extending LIHEAP, which typically runs from November to March 30, to April 13.
But anyone who was tempted last month to turn on the air conditioner when temperatures reached into the mid- to upper 70s knows there's more to it to that.
Fewer people were heating their homes as they would have been during a normal March, so there was less need for assistance.
Statewide since November, the LIHEAP program has received 533,626 applications for cash assistance to pay for home heating fuel and 89,821 applications for crisis grants to pay for heating emergencies such as a furnace failure or unexpected fuel shortages.
In York, there have been 7,217 cash applications and 1,693 crisis applications approved, said Anne Bale, deputy press secretary at the Department of Public Welfare.
Despite unseasonably warm weather, she said there are still people who can benefit from the program.
"I know it is a bit more mild out, but if we turned the heat off completely we would probably notice it," Bale said. "And for older adults who are more sensitive to the cold, it's more important for them to heat their homes longer than the rest of us."