Energy assistance programs offered

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In tough economic times it can be difficult for some to pay their energy bills and the Greenwich Department of Social Services has reminded residents that there is help for those facing hardship.

The state has several energy programs that assist in ensuring the safety of residents and income guidelines to qualify for most of the programs are 60% of State Median Income or lower.

The town also provides help. Its Energy Assistance Program launched in November and interested residents have been encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Eligible households are able to apply for one of three programs. The Winter Protection Program ensures that utility services cannot be disconnected from hardship customers for non-payment between Nov. 1 and May 1. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program makes direct payments to heating vendors, or a cash payment when heat is included in the rent. Finally, the Operation Fuel program provides emergency energy assistance by making a payment directly to the household heating, fuel or utility service company.

For information regarding the energy programs, call the Greenwich Department of Social Services at 203-622-3800. Eligible residents may meet with a caseworker who will determine the best program for them, based on program criteria. The caseworker will also assist with the application process.

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