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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
CL&P and Yankee Gas Promote Energy Assistance Programs on City Buses
Mary Ingarra, CL&P
Jeff Tilghman, Yankee Gas
BERLIN, Conn., November 29, 2005 — In an effort to reach more eligible households this winter, The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas) once again are promoting energy assistance programs through advertisements displayed on Connecticut Transit Authority and North East Transportation Company buses.
The advertisements, which are in English and Spanish, are expected to be seen by more than two million people in the Danbury, Hartford, Meriden, New London, Stamford and Waterbury areas. The ads urge people to call Infoline at 211 for more information about energy assistance, utility payment plans and weatherization programs.
As energy and heating costs continue to rise, calls to Infoline also are increasing. "So far this heating season calls for energy assistance are up about 14 percent compared with last year at this time. Many callers are concerned about how they will get through the winter," said Melanie Loewenstein, senior vice president, Infoline 2-1-1.
“This is the third consecutive year that we have used bus advertising in an effort to reach more people. We want to encourage customers who need help with heating and energy matters to call and ask about available assistance programs,” said Theresa Hopkins-Staten, director of Conservation & Load Management and Community Programs for CL&P. “During these extreme winter months, families should not have to choose between heating their homes and other life necessities.”
Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is a federally funded program that assists financially challenged households with paying their winter heating bills. Eligible households can receive up to $675 in assistance. Eligibility is limited to households receiving cash assistance from the following Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) programs: Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), State Supplement to the Aged, Blind and Disabled and DSS Refugee Program. Also eligible are households whose gross income is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (or elderly and/or disabled households with income up to 200percent of the federal poverty level). In addition, the Governor recently approved funding for the Contingency Heating Assistance Program (CHAP) which will provide $300 in energy assistance to moderate income households whose income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income level.
NUSTART, another CL&P program, is designed to help financially challenged customers maintain year-round electric service. This program is for customers with income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level with an overdue balance on their CL&P bill of at least $100. Through NUSTART, customers can reduce, and eventually eliminate, their past-due balance by paying an agreed-upon budgeted amount on time, each month.
One of the programs offered by CL&P and Yankee Gas is the Weatherization Residential Assistance Partnership (WRAP) Program, which provides free energy-efficiency services for financially challenged customers (renters or homeowners). Households are eligible for WRAP if their household income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, with annual usage at or above 2,000 kilowatt hours (kWh).
In addition, CL&P and Yankee Gas each offer a Winter Protection Plan (WPP) and a Matching Payment Program (MPP). WPP ensures that electric service and natural gas heating service cannot be disconnected for non-payment of qualified hardship customers from November 1 to April 15. CL&P and Yankee Gas customers receiving state income assistance or whose incomes are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for WPP. MPPs help to reduce delinquent balances by putting customers on monthly budget billing and matching payments made on their accounts. CL&P and Yankee Gas customers are eligible for a MPP if they (1) apply and qualify for energy assistance and (2) make and keep a payment arrangement.
Operation Fuel is a private, non-profit organization that provides emergency energy assistance of up to $400 paid directly to the household’s heating fuel vendor or utility company. Program participation is limited to households ineligible for state or federal aid and whose household income is 151 percent to 200percent below the federal poverty level.
“We realize that our Yankee Gas customers are facing another tough heating season. These programs are designed to help them keep their heat on and pay their gas bills without risking disruption to their service. The bus ads are one more way to let our customers know that help is available,” said Lucy Davis, manager of Customer Service for Yankee Gas.
For more information regarding these programs, please call Infoline at 2-1-1. CL&P customers may call 1-800-286-2828 (860-947-2828 in the Hartford and Meriden calling areas). Yankee Gas customers may call 1-800-989-0900.
The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P), Connecticut’s largest electric utility, provides safe and reliable electric service to nearly 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns across the state. With nearly 2,300 employees and annual revenues of approximately $2.9 billion, CL&P offers programs and services in energy conservation, economic development, environmental education, and community relations. CL&P is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.cl-p.com.
Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas) is Connecticut’s largest natural gas distribution company, delivering safe, reliable natural gas service to approximately 194,000 customers in 71 cities and towns. Yankee Gas is expanding Connecticut’s energy options and increasing customer choice by extending the availability of clean, efficient natural gas throughout the state. Yankee Gas is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.yankeegas.com.
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