Help to pay energy bills

Electric meter (file).

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Many people throughout the state are still digging out from the winter when it comes to utility bills. This summer help is on the way from Operation Fuel. The non-profit has been stepping in to help low income families for over 37 years.

“One of the goals that we set for ourselves is that we will be around throughout the year as people fall through the cracks,” said Patricia Wrice, executive director with Operation Fuel. “We’re finding that because there isn’t anything but Operation Fuel open for people for assistance, that our needs are shifting more from the winter more towards the summer and the fall.”

Operation Fuel says it’s harder for folks to get help during the summer months. “What we try to do with our limited resources is to prevent a shutoff or to get someone restored if they are shut off, ” Wrice said.

Family size 100% State Median Income 60% State Median Income
1 $53,649.96 $32,189.98
2 70,157.64 42,094.58
3 86,665.32 51,999.19
4 103,173.00 61,903.80
5 119,680.68 71,808.41
6 136,188.36 81,713.02
7 139,283.55 83,570.13
8 142,378.74 85,427.24
CT Dept. of Social Services

According to Operation Fuel, one in every five residents in Connecticut needs help with their utility bills and are going without the basic needs. “It’s not even AC,” Wrice said. “They can’t use the fan, they can’t use the refrigerator to cool. Many people have electric (water) heaters and that means they can’t use hot water to wash dishes or take baths .”

The program Operation Fuel helps lower-income working families the elderly and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis and not eligible for energy assistance from government-funded programs. The non-profit is pitching in a maximum grant of $500 per household if you qualify. According to the organization, the need for help has grown by 70 percent this year.

“People don’t have control over the economy and they certainly don’t have control over the weather,” wrice said, “and we just came off, if not the coldest weather on record it was pretty close.”

If you have received energy assistance from Operation Fuel within the past 12 months you are not eligible. To find out if you quality for the program call the state infoline 211.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s