CNG, SCG, UI Announce 44% Increase in Customers who Qualify for Assistance Programs since 2023

Customers who are actively participating in arrearage forgiveness programs will not have service disconnected when moratorium ends May 2

ORANGE, Conn. — May 2, 2024 — Today, Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and United Illuminating (UI), subsidiaries of Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), announced a 44% increase in the number of customers who qualify for enrollment in the companies’ assistance programs between March 2023 and March 2024. Customers qualify for assistance programs, including UI’s Low-Income Discount Rate and all three operating companies’ arrearage forgiveness programs, by demonstrating financial hardship to the companies’ Customer Care Centers by phone, email, or mail. UI, SCG, and CNG encourage all financial hardship customers who have an outstanding balance on their energy bill to enroll and participate in one of the companies’ arrearage forgiveness programs to avoid service disconnection, which resumes May 2 following the end of a shut-off moratorium for hardship customers that has been in place since March 2020.

“As our Customer Service team works hard to provide information and resources on our many assistance programs, I’m pleased to see such a dramatic increase in the number of customers who are taking advantage of them,” said Frank Reynolds, President & CEO of UI, SCG, and CNG.  “We’re working to make it as easy as possible for customers in need to qualify for and enroll in these important arrearage forgiveness programs so they can avoid service disconnection once the moratorium ends on May 2. Disconnecting any customer is always a very last resort, which is why I encourage these customers to take steps to enroll and participate in these programs, because no one who is actively participating in an arrearage forgiveness program will have their service disconnected.”

To qualify for an arrearage forgiveness program through UI, SCG, and/or CNG, customers must demonstrate financial hardship by meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Total household income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income (information here);
  • At least one member of the household participates in one of the following programs: Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP levels 1-3); Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Income (SSDI); Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/Temporary Family Assistance (TFA); State Administered General Assistance (SAGA); Department of Social Services State Cash Assistance, State Supplement; Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Medicaid or Access Health; HUSKY A, C, D; State HUSKY A; State HUSKY B; CHIP; HUSKY B; Connecticut free or reduced lunch program; Head Start; Financial Support from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Medicare Savings Programs (MSP)/Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB); Additional Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (ALMB)/Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB); Section 8 Housing; or the Rental Assistance Program.

UI’s customers with demonstrated financial hardship, who number more than 35,000 as of March 2024, are automatically enrolled in the Low-Income Discount Rate, receiving either a 10 percent or 50 percent discount on their overall electric bill depending on their eligibility criteria. UI, SCG, and CNG customers with demonstrated financial hardship who also have a balance on their energy bill also qualify for the companies’ arrearage forgiveness programs:

  • Matching Payment Program (UI, SCG, and CNG) – Electric and Gas heating customers are encouraged to apply for CT Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) through their local Community Action Agency. CEAP applications intake ends on 05/31/24 for electric and gas heating customers and will reopen in the fall. The Matching Payment Program is available to residential customers and is designed to help lower energy bills for those who can demonstrate financial hardship and who heat their home with electricity or natural gas. We will match every dollar paid by you or on your behalf up to a zero balance.
  • 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.  

Additionally, all UI, SCG, and CNG customers (both residential and commercial, regardless of financial hardship status) may qualify for Flexible Payment Arrangements. Customers who are struggling to pay their energy bill can arrange for a payment arrangement to 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 Reg. § 16-3-100(b)(3)(A). These arrangements may be discussed confidentially by calling our Customer Care Center.

“The significant increase in the number of customers who are participating in programs like UI’s Low-Income Discount Rate and Bill Forgiveness Program speaks to the outreach and customer education efforts our team has been undertaking for the last year,” said Tracey Pelella, Vice President of Customer Service at UI, SCG, and CNG. “From online events and seminars to in-person enrollment events in partnership with the municipal leaders across our service areas, our team has worked long hours to ensure we enroll as many customers as possible in the assistance programs they qualify for. If you receive an initial shut-off notice from us, it’s not too late: no matter what your balance looks like, please contact us to set up a payment arrangement or enroll in an arrearage forgiveness program so you can avoid disconnection. We’re here to help.”

To assist residential customers in managing their energy usage to help lower their utility bills, UI, SCG, and CNG also encourage customers to take advantage of energy efficiency audits though EnergizeCT’s Home Energy Solutions program. Customers whose total household income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income qualify for Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible, in which the co-pay for the residential energy efficiency assessment is eliminated so that the customer receives the assessment complimentary. Income-Eligible customers also receive added incentives and discounts on services recommended and/or performed during the assessment, such as weatherization measures and replacement of lighting, heating, and cooling equipment.

For more information on financial assistance programs offered by UI, please visit or call 800.722.5584. For more information on financial assistance programs offered by SCG, visit or call 800.659.8299. For more information on financial assistance programs offered by CNG, please visit; customers in the Greater Hartford area may call 860.524.8361, and customers in Greenwich may call 203.869.6900.

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