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State Aid To Focus On Oil-Heated Homes

September 19, 2011

State assistance for home heating will focus on dwellings heated by oil, not by gas or electricity, the Malloy administration announced Monday.

The program is being refocused as the state tries to cope with a cut in federal funds that could mean a shortfall of about $73 million, the governor's budget director, Ben Barnes, said in a statement. The home-heating assistance program is projected to cost about $120 million in Connecticut.

State law prohibits gas and electric companies from using non-payment of bills as a reason to end service to customers from Nov. 1 to May 1, Barnes said.

"In the near-term, the Malloy administration plan will protect those who are the most vulnerable in our state, while refocusing the program to prioritize those households whose health could be jeopardized due to a lack of heat -- those who receive their heat from oil," Barnes said.

"While utility-heated households are protected by the winter moratorium on shut-offs, it's important to note that, under our proposal, utility-heated households will still be eligible for matching funds from the utility companies, as well as additional federal funding, if available."

He continued: "In the longer-term, we are already working with members of Connecticut's Congressional Delegation to help maximize any additional federal benefits to which the state might be entitled, and we are beginning conversations with the utility companies about additional ways in which we can work together to find an acceptable long-term solution."

Click here to read the full story from Hartford Courant

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