United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas — the Connecticut operating companies of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) — today reminded customers that a variety of programs are available to help families through the cold-weather months.
Customers who anticipate the need for heating assistance or winter service protection should take action now to determine their eligibility and get enrolled before the cold weather sets in. Acting early will help ensure they can take advantage of available energy assistance funding. Even customers who don’t meet income guidelines for hardship status can take advantage of programs to help them manage their bills and reduce energy costs.
Get Started: Customers with concerns about whether they can maintain UI, SCG or CNG service this winter should start by calling Connecticut’s Infoline at 2-1-1 to find the Community Action Agency that serves their town or city. These organizations can determine whether customers meet income guidelines and other criteria to qualify for hardship status. Once eligibility is confirmed, customers can contact their energy company to enroll in energy assistance, matching payment plans and winter service protection.
Get Protected: Winter service protection, which prevents shut-off from November 1 to May 1, is available for gas heating and electric customers who qualify for hardship status, as well as for some electric customers who meet certain other criteria, such as medical necessity. Customers must call their energy company to enroll in winter protection, and will be required to document their eligibility, financial or medical hardship.
Other Resources: Customers who do not meet income guidelines for hardship status may still qualify for assistance through the statewide Operation Fuel program. Customers can learn more about Operation Fuel from their local Community Action Agency. UI, SCG and CNG customers can choose to add a dollar to their electric bills to help Operation Fuel provide energy assistance to needy Connecticut families. Visit operationfuel.org for information.
Customers can call the UI, SCG or CNG Customer Care Centers to learn about payment arrangements to help them pay down balances, and Budget Billing programs, which average out bill payments across the year so customers can avoid high bills during seasonal peaks.
UI, SCG and CNG also offer award-winning energy efficiency programs, which can help customers reduce energy costs and usage. These include the Home Energy Solutions energy audit, which for a limited time is available for a $75 customer copay – half the usual cost. A typical Connecticut home can receive $1,000 worth of services from a Home Energy Solutions visit, and can realize $200 in savings on annual energy bills. Visit uinet.com, soconngas.com or cngcorp.com and select “Smart Energy” to learn more.