$67M in LIHEAP Funds Released; Fuel Deliveries to Start November 15th

CAFCA | November 16, 2017 |

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released $67,255,113 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This amount is 90% of LIHEAP funds allocated for the State of Connecticut.  

Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills this winter can apply for home heating assistance through Connecticut’s Community Action Agency Network. The Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are the only nonprofit agencies administering LIHEAP, which provides home heating assistance to Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents. Each CAA has application intake sites throughout their service regions. Some sites may include local town halls, and customers should check with their local CAA for a complete site listing.  

 

In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state’s Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.

 

CAAs will certify oil deliveries beginning Wednesday, November 15th, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits. As Deb Monahan, Executive Director of TVCCA and CAFCA’s board chair notes, “The Energy Assistance Program provides heating assistance to almost 100,000 households in Connecticut and puts approximately $74 million dollars into local economies. This is a critical program in more ways than one!"


Another protection for Connecticut’s struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.

 

A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.

 

Connecticut’s poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.

 

For more information on Connecticut’s Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438. Each CAA’s energy department below contact number is below. 

 

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Contact: 

Edith Karsky, Executive Director, Connecticut Association for Community Action, Inc. (CAFCA), 860-832-9438, Edith@cafca.org.

 

Connecticut Community Action Agency Energy Assistance Contact Information

 

Agency

Area Covered

Energy Assistance #

ABCD

Lower Fairfield County

(203) 384-6904

Greater Norwalk

(203) 838-8110

Access

Willimantic

(860) 450-7400

Danielson

(860) 412-1600

CAANH

Greater New Haven

(203) 285-8018

CAAWC

Greater Danbury

(203) 748-5422

Greater Stamford

(203) 357-0720

CRT

Central CT

(860) 560-5800

HRA

New Britain

(860) 356-2000

Bristol

(860) 584-2725

NOI

Greater Waterbury

(203) 756-8151

Greater Meriden

(203) 235-0278

TEAM

Lower Naugatuck Valley

(203) 736-5420

TVCCA

Southeastern CT

(860) 425-6681