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Are You Eligible for a Payment Program? Winter Shut-Off Protection?

CL&P and Yankee Gas say don't wait until the temperature drops;

MEDIA CONTACT: Mitch Gross, CL&P Ashley Duncan, Yankee Gas
Office: (860) 665-5221 (860) 665-2781
After Hours: (800) 789-2290 (800) 789-2290

BERLIN, Conn. - October 19, 2011 - 

October 19, 2011 –– Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) and Yankee Gas are reminding customers who may have difficulty paying their electric and natural gas bills this winter that now is the time to sign up for programs that can assist them. Now is also the time for customers who are eligible for state administered energy assistance programs to sign up.

"Don't wait until the first snowflakes are falling to look into available programs and services," said Sharon Eberman, director of Customer Experience Operations for CL&P and Yankee Gas. "Now is the time to make the call because the last thing we ever want to do is disconnect service to a customer. We also urge those that may be eligible for state energy assistance funds to sign up as soon as possible. There is less federal funding available and the state programs are available on a 'first come, first served' basis."

Programs available to CL&P and Yankee Gas customers are:

  • Winter Protection Program 
  • CL&P and Yankee Gas offer Winter Protection programs that protect qualified, income-eligible customers from electric service shut-offs or natural gas shut-offs for nonpayment from November 1, 2011, to May 1, 2012. Customers must sign up annually for this program –– there is no automatic renewal. To qualify, a customer's total household income will be considered. Additional criteria that may also qualify a customer for Winter Protection can include aid to the blind, elderly and disabled, temporary family assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, general assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or a serious or life-threatening illness in the household. Customers still receive their bills and should try to pay what they can each month to avoid a larger balance due when the protection period ends.

  • Matching Payment Program 
  • This program allows limited-income customers with past-due balances to work out monthly payment arrangements so their service is provided year-round. Customers must heat with electricity to qualify for the CL&P Matching Payment Program or heat with natural gas to qualify for the Yankee Gas Matching Payment Program. In addition, a customer's total household income will be considered. They must apply for and be granted energy assistance funds and must make and keep a monthly payment arrangement. CL&P and Yankee Gas customers who maintain eligibility under the Matching Payment Program will see an additional reduction in their past-due amount for every dollar paid. Customers who successfully complete the program will also receive a match on their energy assistance reward, up to a zero balance.

    CL&P customers who want more information about the Winter Protection and Matching Payment programs should call 800-286-2828 (860-947-2828 in the Hartford and Meriden calling areas). Yankee Gas customers should call 800-438-2278.

  • Home Energy Solutions - Income Eligible (HES-IE) 
  • Formerly known as the "WRAP'" program, this free program helps both CL&P and Yankee Gas limited-income customers (renters or owners) make their homes more energy-efficient, while promoting energy conservation. Through this program, customers can lower their energy use, conserve hot water, reduce heat loss and switch to energy-efficient lighting.

    For more information, or to obtain an application, call 800-388-9727.

  • Budget Billing 
  • CL&P and Yankee Gas offer Budget Billing. The program helps customers manage expenses by equalizing monthly bills based on annual energy usage history. Budget Billing helps avoid seasonal peaks associated with heating and cooling months. Accounts are reviewed monthly and budgeted amounts are adjusted if necessary.

    To sign up for CL&P's Budget Billing program, call 800-286-2000 or visitwww.cl-p.com. To sign up for the Yankee Gas Budget Billing program, call 800-989-0900 or visit www.yankeegas.com.

  • NUSTART Program 
  • The NUSTART Program helps limited-income CL&P customers maintain year-round electric service. Customers can reduce and eliminate past-due balances if they pay their monthly budget amount on time, each month.

    To learn more about the NUSTART program, call 800-286-2828.

  • State Energy Assistance Programs 
  • Limited-income customers may also qualify for state-administered programs, including the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) or the Contingency Heating Assistance Program (CHAP). There are also programs such as Operation Fuel that assist customers who are not eligible for state or federal assistance.

    Call 2-1-1 to learn more about these.

Yankee Gas is Connecticut's largest natural gas distribution company, delivering clean, efficient, safe and reliable natural gas to more than 205,000 customers in 71 cities and towns. Yankee Gas is a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.yankeegas.com.

The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) has been part of everyday life in Connecticut for more than 100 years, providing safe and reliable electric service to homes, neighborhoods and businesses. With 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, CL&P is improving the environments you live in, by offering programs in energy conservation, economic development and environmental stewardship. CL&P is a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.cl-p.com, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/CTLightandPower and follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower.

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