Operation Fuel has begun its summer energy assistance program for households that are struggling to pay their energy bills and are in danger of having their utilities shut off.
As a result of trying to keep their homes warm this past winter, many Connecticut families and individuals currently have high balances on their electric and gas bills. The annual winter moratorium, which prevents households from having their utilities shut off, ended on May 1 and doesn’t resume until Nov. 1.
“There are thousands of lower-income families and elderly residents on fixed incomes who are living in fear that they may have their electricity and gas services turned off this summer. Operation Fuel has limited resources, but we will do our best to assist those who are in crisis and have the most need,” explained Operation Fuel’s Executive Director Patricia Wrice in a press release.
Energy affordability is now a year-round problem for nearly 300,000 Connecticut households, said the press release from Operatio Fuel. When families and individuals lose their electricity, it causes tremendous hardship including the inability to refrigerate food and medicine, cook meals and have lights and hot water, points out Wrice. Being without a fan or air conditioner in extreme heat also can be very dangerous and poses severe health risks, especially for young children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.
Households that meet specific requirements will be eligible to receive a one-time energy grant of up to $500 this summer. Households, however, are ineligible for this program if they have received energy assistance from Operation Fuel within the past 12 months. For more information on the summer program, call 211.
Operation Fuel provides energy assistance throughout Connecticut to lower-income working families, the elderly and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis and not eligible for energy assistance from government-funded programs.
Donations for Operation Fuel can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT.06106 or made online at www.operationfuel.org.