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More Connecticut utility bill assistance

Sadly, over 200,000 families and businesses in Connecticut may lose their electricity service in the coming months and weeks because of unpaid heating and energy bills.

The state did have in place a winter moratorium on shutting off power to low-income residents, however the moratorium has ended. Currently United Illuminating Co and Connecticut Light & Power Co. have almost 300,000 customers who were more than 60 days late in paying their utility bills. To put it into context, that number of delinquent accounts is more than the population of the largest city in the history of Connecticut. In addition, last year, just over 200,000 accounts were 60 days or more behind, so the number has increased by about 50%.

Now, the situation has grown to be desperate for so many Connecticut families that the Governor has asked the utility and gas companies publicly to extend the shutoff moratorium to at least June. It should be noted that the moratorium also extends to those customers who heat their homes with natural gas or fuel oil.

The current moratorium in place applies only to residential Connecticut families and customers who have qualified for the winter protection hardship assistance program. To qualify for this plan, a family of four in Connecticut had to make less than $31,800 a year. Of the nearly 300,000 families who are behind in their utility bills, about 80,000 of them were considered hardship cases. UI has a little more than 10,000 hardship cases and CL&P has nearly 70,000 hardship cases who are behind on paying their energy bills.

And of the 128,000 UI customers who are 60 days or later on their utility bills, more than 90 percent of them are residents. Less than 7,000 of these customers are businesses. For CL&P's customers, the bulk of their more than 164,000 customers in arrears on their bills are residents.

 

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