Videos steer consumers to energy aid

ORANGE >> Two new videos provide guidance to help state residents navigate the process for applying for Energy Assistance and maintaining service in the cold weather months.

The help is offered by United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, the Connecticut operating companies of AVANGRID Inc.

The videos are designed to help customers understand the process to qualify for Energy Assistance and Winter Protection.

Qualifying is the first step to becoming eligible for certain programs the companies offer to help customers pay their bills and maintain their service.

The videos are available on YouTube and are being distributed to Connecticut Community Action Agencies, which oversee distribution of Energy Assistance dollars and can work with customers to determine eligibility for the program.

Customers seeking assistance can start by calling their local Community Action Agency, or Infoline at 211 to find the Connecticut Community Action Agency that serves them.

These organizations can determine whether customers meet income and other criteria to be eligible for Energy Assistance.

Once eligibility is confirmed, customers can contact their energy company to enroll in assistance programs, such as matching payment plans.

Winter service protection, which prevents shut-offs during the cold months, is available Nov. 1-May 1.

It is offered to qualifying electric and gas heating customers, and for some electric customers who qualify or meet certain other criteria.

Those customers who don’t meet the eligibility criteria for Energy Assistance should contact their energy company to learn about other options, such as payment arrangements and budget billing, which averages bill payments across the year so they can avoid high bills during heating months.

AVANGRID’s energy companies also offer programs that can help customers reduce energy costs and usage.