Throughout November, companies will work to enroll customers in assistance programs to ensure winter readiness
ORANGE, Conn. — November 1, 2023 — United Illuminating (UI), Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), and Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), subsidiaries of Avangrid (NYSE: AGR), today announced the start of Heating Assistance Awareness Month, which runs from November 1 through November 30. Throughout this month, the companies will engage with customers, community action agencies, municipal leaders, and other public officials to promote assistance programs to help Connecticut families stay ahead of their energy bills, especially in the coldest months of the year.
“We recognize the vital part we play in the health and safety of our customers, especially during the coldest months of the year,” said Frank Reynolds, President & CEO of UI, CNG, and SCG. “As we prepare our systems for winter, we encourage our customers to use Heating Assistance Awareness Month this November to prepare as well. In addition to assistance programs for customers experiencing financial hardship, all our customers, regardless of financial status, can take advantage of our many energy efficiency programs. There is something for everyone, and I encourage customers to spend a few minutes exploring their options and opportunities this month.”
Throughout November, customers will receive many forms of communication on the assistance programs offered by UI, CNG, and SCG, including bill messages, emails, newsletters, and social media posts. UI/SCG will also host at least two Customer Enrollment events, the eighth and ninth among the companies this year, in the coming weeks. One will be held at the Ansonia Senior Center on December 7 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and another will be held at East Haven Senior Center on December 14 from 3p.m. to 6 p.m. or federal assistance programs (e.g., HUSKY, WIC, or Section 8), to enroll in assistance programs in-person on the day of the event.
“At UI, CNG, and SCG, we know that offering assistance programs is only half the battle; making customers aware of them is equally important,” said Tracey Pellela, Vice President of Customer Service at UI, CNG, and SCG. “That’s why I’m proud our team is using many mediums – including email, social media, and in-person events – to raise awareness of these essential programs during Heating Assistance Awareness Month.”
Customers who are experiencing financial difficulties and looking for resources to help them manage on their energy bills should visit their utility company’s respective “Help With Bill” page (uinet.com/HelpWithBill, soconngas.com/HelpWithBill, and cngcorp.com/HelpWithBill). There, customers can find more information on financial hardship programs and bill assistance, including:
- Matching Payment Program – Available to residential customers, this program is designed to help lower energy bills for those who can demonstrate financial hardship. We will match every dollar paid by you or on your behalf up to a zero balance.
- Flexible Payment Arrangements – Available to any UI, CNG, or SCG customer, regardless of their income level. These arrangements can be spread out up to 18 months for residential customers and 6 months for non-residential customers. Current payment arrangements may be renegotiated due to a change in financial circumstances per Conn. Agencies Regs. § 16-3-100(b)(3)(A). These arrangements may be discussed confidentially by calling the CNG Customer Care Center at 860.524.8361 (Greater Hartford) or 203.869.6900 (Greenwich), the SCG Customer Care at 800.659.8299, or the UI Customer Care Center at 800.722.5584.
- Bill Forgiveness Program (UI only) – Available to residential customers who can demonstrate financial hardship and have a balance of at least $100 that is 60 days or more overdue. If you qualify, you will be placed on a budget plan for up to 36 months and we will match payments as they are made.
- Low-Income Discount Rate (LIDR) (UI only) – Available to UI customers with a financial hardship status on their account. Based on their household income or receipt of a public assistance benefit, customers may be eligible for a 10 percent or 50 percent discount off their electric bill per month. Customers should visit uinet.com/LIDR to see if they qualify.
Regardless of their income level, customers can also visit their respective utility’s “Smart Energy” page (uinet.com/SmartEnergy, soconngas.com/SmartEnergy, and cngcorp.com/SmartEnergy) for resources on energy efficiency programs, including:
- Home Energy Solutions (HES) / Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible (HES-IE) – Available to all Connecticut utility customers and administered by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, HES and HES-IE are weatherization programs designed to help customers reduce their energy usage and increase the sustainability of their home or business. The Income Eligible program, which offers additional incentives and cost-savings measures, is specifically designed to help customers with limited income or financial need manage their utility usage and save money on their bill.
- Heating and Cooling System Rebates – Available to all Connecticut customers, utility companies provide rebates and instant discounts for a variety of high-efficiency heating and/or cooling systems, including ductless air source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and high-efficiency heating systems.
- Multifamily Initiative and Residential New Construction Program – Available to all Connecticut developers and builders, these programs offer opportunities for home-builders to earn incentives for installing energy efficient windows, insulation, appliances, water heaters, and more.
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