Home Consumer resources As utility bills rise, TB resources can help seniors / Public News Service

As utility bills rise, TB resources can help seniors / Public News Service

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Starting Friday, Connecticut residents may start to see a big spike in energy costs just as summer looms and inflation hits people hard, but resources are available, especially for seniors. who feel the effects.

Connecticut’s standard electric service generation rate is expected to increase considerably in July according to the energy supplier, with the biggest spike at more than 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

John Erlingheuser, director of advocacy and community outreach at AARP Connecticut, said this is a particular challenge for people on fixed incomes.

“Older residents with many health conditions need electricity to stay cool in the summer,” Erlingheuser pointed out. “Many times they will find themselves in a situation where they will have to either reduce their medicine consumption, or reduce their electricity consumption, or reduce their food consumption, in order to make ends meet.”

Erlingheuser noted that Connecticut residents pay the highest electricity prices in the lower 48 states. A resource available for those who need help paying their utility bills is Operation Fuel. Before applying, a household must gather proof of the last four weeks of income for all household members, the name of their fuel supplier or utility bill, and payment history.

Erlingheuser added that two important programs have a June 30 deadline: the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program and the COVID-19 payment plan.

He pointed out that the payment plan can help catch up on past due balances and outstanding bills.

“You don’t need money up front to participate in this program, and it could be spread over 24 months,” Erlingheuser observed. “They waive all fees and interest in calculating your monthly payments. So these are important programs, and we encourage people to access them while they still exist.”

You can contact your utility providers to learn more about specific payment plans.

Connecticut customers who have health issues also qualify for protections against utility cuts due to lack of payment. They can ask their doctor to certify that they have a serious illness or a life-threatening condition on the public service Internet portal.

Disclosure: AARP Connecticut contributes to our fund for reporting on policy and budget priorities, health issues, hunger/food/nutrition, and seniors’ issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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