As Utility Bills Rise, Resources in CT Can Help Older Adults
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Starting Friday, Connecticut residents may start to see a sharp increase in energy costs just as summer gets into gear and inflation hits people hard, but resources are available, especially for older adults who are feeling the pinch.
Connecticut's electric standard service generation rate is expected to increase significantly in July depending on the energy provider, 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 a lot of medical conditions need electricity to stay cool in the summer," Erlingheuser pointed out. "Many times, they'll find themselves in a position of either cutting back on medication, or cutting back on electricity or cutting back on food, in order to make ends meet."
Erlingheuser noted Connecticut residents pay the highest electric prices in the lower 48 states. One resource available for those who need help paying utility bills is Operation Fuel. Before applying, a household needs to gather proof of the last four weeks of income for all household members, the name of their fuel vendor or a utility bill and payment history.
Erlingheuser added two important programs have an upcoming deadline of June 30: the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program and the COVID-19 Payment Plan.
He emphasized the payment plan can help with catching up past-due balances and current bills.
"You don't need to have any money up front to get in this program, and it could be spread out over 24 months," Erlingheuser observed. "They waive all the fees and interest in the calculation of your monthly payments. So, these are important programs, and we would encourage folks to get to them while they still exist."
You can contact your utility providers to learn more about specific payment plans.
Connecticut customers who have medical conditions also are qualified for protections from utility shut-offs due to lack of payment. They can ask their doctor to certify they have a serious illness or life-threatening condition on the utility's internet portal.
get more stories like this via email
Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…
New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …
Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…
Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…
Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …
Health and Wellness
Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…
A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …
Health and Wellness
During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …