For those who are struggling with paying their utility, heating, and/or gas bills, Connecticut Light & Power Co. as well as Yankee Gas Services Co. offer customers a wide variety of programs and services that are available to assist people who need help. These energy companies know that during this current economic environment, many customers are having a tougher time paying their Yankee Gas or CL&P bills and they may need some help. They always encourage customers to contact the utilities as soon as possible, and as soon as they think they may begin to struggle with a bill.
Both Yankee Gas and CL&P offer their customers winter shut-off protection programs, which will protect qualified individuals and families from having their electric service or natural gas service shut-off for nonpayment of a bill from Nov. 1 through May 1. Customers need to sign up each winter for this program, so if they applied last year, they need to do so again this year.
There are conditions, and to qualify your total household income will be considered, as well as whether you qualify for aid to the blind, elderly and/or disabled; food stamps; for temporary family assistance; general assistance; Medicaid; Supplemental Security Income, or whether there is a serious or life-threatening illness in the household or in your family.
If you are able to join the program, customers still receive their energy bills and they should try to pay what they can each and every month to avoid a larger balance due when the protection period ends, the utilities said.
They do offer other programs as well. Other aid includes a matching payment program for low to moderate income customers who heat their homes with electricity or natural gas and have past-due balances. The program can help work out monthly payment arrangements between the customer and the utility company.