Submitted by Tricia Modifica
(November 10, 2023) — In recognition of Heating Assistance Awareness Month in Connecticut, Eversource is encouraging qualifying customers to take advantage of heating assistance available to them. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) – administered by the state – offers a benefit between $180 to $530 to residents, depending on household income and size, to pay their heating bill.
“The first thing income-eligible customers should do is reach out to their Community Action Agency (CAA) to access the CEAP benefit available to them because that money goes directly to help pay their heating bills,” said Eversource Vice President of Customer Operations and Assistance Programs Jess Cain. “In addition, we have a new electric bill discount rate for low-income customers, and many programs that customers should also take advantage of. Most importantly, for customers who meet state income requirements, we will protect their household from service shut-off during the coldest months each year.”
Customers who have never needed assistance previously may not realize they qualify for protection from service disconnection and may also be eligible for other programs to help pay their bills. For example, a household of four, with an annual income of $79,000 meets the income-eligibility requirements. Eversource encourages all customers to contact the energy company at Eversource.com/Billhelp or 800-286-2828 to find out if one of the programs below could be beneficial to them.
- Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) – state- provided assistance for winter heating costs for thousands of Connecticut homeowners and renters who meet state income guidelines. Customers must work with their local Community Action Agency (CAA) to access CEAP – a heating assistance benefit up to $530 per household this year. Customers can find their local CAA at 211 or by calling 211.
- Winter Protection – protection for income-eligible customers from service shut off from November 1, 2023 through May 1, 2024. Customers should check the state’s income guidelines to see if they qualify for winter protection.
- A new Low-Income Discount Rate will take effect December 1, 2023 that can give customers with financial hardship either a 10% or 50% discount off their electric bills per month. Customers can qualify to receive the discount based on their household income or receipt of a public assistance benefit. For example, if a customer has a $100 monthly bill, it would be $10 less if they receive a 10% discount or $50 less if they receive the 50% discount.
For customers with a past due balance:
- The Matching Payment Program can lower the amount electric or gas heating customers owe on energy bills. For every dollar they pay and every dollar they receive from the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, we will subtract a dollar from the amount owed.
- The New Start Program forgives overdue balances for electric customers as on-time monthly payments are made. (For example, if your New Start payment amount is set at $150 per month and your past due balance is $1,200, for every month you make your required $150 payment towards your bill, we will reduce your past-due balance by $100.)
- Flexible Payment Plans are also available to all customers, regardless of income, to help pay their past-due balances over a period of time.