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Eversource assistance programs.

Low income customers of Eversource can receive financial assistance from a number of different programs. Some of the resources available can help individuals save money on their energy bills, and others provide direct cash grants or funds for paying utility and heating bills. Or explore payment plans from Eversource. (which was formerly known as Connecticut Light and Power)

You can either call Eversource directly (see the phone number below) to inquire about them and apply for help, or dial the state’s Department of Social Services at 800-842-1132. Some programs are government funded, and other are offered directly by Eversource. Information on all resources are listed below, starting with the government funded resources.

State and federal government assistance

First and foremost, the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) offers grants and cash payments directly to Eversource (CL&P) customers. Priority is usually given to seniors, families with children, and the disabled. You need to apply at your local Community Action Agency. This is the states version of LIHEAP.

A focus of this program is to help Eversource low income and senior customers pay their winter heating bills as well as summer cooling bills. Households who qualify must still pay a part of the bill themselves as the entire amount is not covered. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is paid for by the federal government.

Another government grant program is the Contingency Heating Assistance Program (CHAP). Funds will be paid directly to your energy company, and the applicant’s income needs to be below 60% of the state median income in order to qualify. Dial 1-800-842-1132.

Department of Social Services (DSS) partners with community action agencies to run the federal government funded Weatherization Program. Free energy conservation improvements can be made to qualified individuals homes. This will help people save money on their bills.

The state of Connecticut also pays for different assistance programs too or partners with on-profits. They include Operation Fuel as well as Winter Protection Plan.

 

 

 

Cash grants of up to $400 can be provided by Operation Fuel to lower income Connecticut Light and Power customers. If your income is too high for other financial assistance programs, then this is can help as a last resort.

Operation Fuel is a nonprofit, privately funded energy bill assistance program. It is for those who need emergency financial help with paying for their heating and utility bills. Funds are only offered as a last option, so applicants need to have exhausted, or can’t be eligible for state of Connecticut or federal government assistance. The maximum cash grant that will be available to Eversource customers from Operation Fuel is $500 per application.

Connecticut also ensures that all utility companies offer the Veterans, Soldiers’, Sailors’, and Marines’ Fund. Military members, veterans, and their immediate family members can all receive money to pay their utilities. Phone number is (860) 296-0719

Eversource also fully adheres to the state Winter Protection Plan. So the energy company will not disconnect your service for nonpayment at anytime from November 1 through May 1. However the outstanding utility bill will eventually need to be paid, so customers are encouraged to make some type of payment as part of the program. Other components of Winter Protection will ensure no late payment charges are made to an account, and it will also offer special payment arrangements.

Direct Connecticut Light and Power resources

Home Energy Solutions is offered by Eversource (formerly CL&P). The utility company will provide free energy-efficiency updates to help low income residential customers reduce and save money on their energy use through air sealing, heating and appliance evaluations, insulation, and energy-saving devices.

This service was formerly the WRAP program, and it can help both homeowners and renters save money on their utility bills. Homes or apartments can be made more energy efficient. The program is free, and clients may be able to qualify for insulation, caulking, energy-efficient appliances, including Energy Star refrigerators, and other updates.

 

 

 

 

Eversource will also negotiate and offer Special Payment Arrangements Programs, such as matching payments and forgiveness of past-due balances to qualified customers. Anyone requesting this service and all low income customers that want a plan will first need to apply and qualify for energy assistance, and they will also need to make and keep a payment arrangement in order to receive aid. Another special arrange is the NUSTART Program. This Eversource program will help customers make monthly payments on a budget, and provide a monthly arrearage credit.

For example, the Matching Payment Program by Eversource provides year-round electric service and possible forgiveness of back unpaid utility debts and balances to low-income electric heating customers who have past-due balances on their accounts.

NUSTART can eliminate unpaid bills and give a household a clean slate on their account. Assistance can help low-income customers greatly reduce, or even completely eliminate their past-due balance on all energy bills. The program is offered for customers who pay an agreed-upon budgeted amount on their bills every month.

People with a medical condition can benefit from Shutoff Protection. This service is offered for those with a serious illness. Customers who have a medical condition or hardship should contact the Credit and Collection Center to apply.

Contact information and phone number for Eversource

Those are the primary bill paying and assistance programs offered to Eversource customers. If you need help, or think you may fall behind on your bills in the future, dial the energy company at 800-286-2000 (electric) or 800-989-0900 (gas).

 

By Jon McNamara

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