Operation Fuel's summer energy assistance program underway

Operation Fuel’s statewide network of fuel banks began taking energy assistance applications today from Connecticut households. Families and individuals who are in danger of having their utility services terminated due to financial hardship should call 211 to see if they are eligible for energy assistance.

There currently are more than 320,000 low- and moderate-income households statewide that can’t afford their energy bills. During 2017, more than 52,000 households had their electricity disconnected because of non-payment, according to the state of Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Brenda Watson, Operation Fuel’s Executive Director, said she is very concerned about how people will survive a heat wave if their electricity is shut off. “An energy grant from Operation Fuel can be lifesaving. The home energy affordability crisis is a health and safety issue for over 300,000 Connecticut households. Just a small donation to Operation Fuel can help a local family or individual remain in their home,” said Watson.

For this past fiscal year, which ended June 30 2018, Operation Fuel helped 7,232 households with more than $3.1 million in energy assistance.

“We want to help even more households this year but we need the resources to do that. Lack of electricity can create serious problems for the elderly, young children and babies, and people who have chronic health problems. Being without electricity during extreme heat is especially hazardous,” explained Watson. When people lose their electricity, they also lose the ability to refrigerate food and medicine, cook meals, run fans and have lights and hot water.

The annual winter moratorium, which prevents qualified households from having their electricity and gas shut off, ended on May 1 and doesn’t resume until Nov. 1, 2018.

Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.

For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT. 06106.