Sen. Kissel Helps Kick Off Energy Awareness Campaign

August 27, 2008

Joins colleagues in unveiling new website to educate constituents about energy assistance programs
State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, is helping to unveil a new public awareness campaign designed to educate constituents about energy assistance programs available to them and tax breaks that can help reduce the rising costs of home heating bills this winter. According to Sen. Kissel, a new easy-to-use website,, has been established that provides information and application materials for state and federal energy assistance programs, along with tax incentives available to residents and businesses of Connecticut.Coping with Rising Energy Costs

“As we head into the cold weather months we need to be certain that residents have information regarding energy assistance available to them,” said Sen. Kissel. “There are a host of programs and tax breaks for low and moderate income families as well as small businesses, but there are many questions surrounding eligibility. This website provides a specific place where people can go and find out about these programs and what programs they might qualify for.”

On Friday, the General Assembly passed a $44 million energy relief package that expands home heating assistance programs and energy conservation tax breaks for low and middle-income families and small businesses. Highlights of the new law include:

· $8.5 million to Operation Fuel to help low income residents;
· $5 million to Operation Fuel for expanded eligibility for heating assistance;
· $7 million to conduct energy audits of homes;
· $6.5 million to help cover heating bills for public schools;
· $4 million to help income eligible elderly residents make payments on their utilities;
· $3.5 million to help human service and public health non-profits
· $3 million to provide $500 rebates to families purchasing fuel efficient furnaces;
· $2 million to weatherize low income families households; and
· $2 million to increase eligibility and provide additional loans to families who make energy efficient improvements to their homes.

Under the new law, a family of four whose bank accounts and annual incomes total less than $94,000 may qualify to receive a one time benefit of up to $400 for heating their homes this winter. Families of four with incomes and bank accounts totaling less than $31,800 could receive a basic benefit of $635 under the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and may qualify for additional help in an emergency.

In addition to the new laws, several existing benefits constituents may not be aware of, include:

* Low interest loans for homeowners and businesses to use renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind or fuel cells;
* Loans for Connecticut residents of up to $25,000 to install energy efficient windows, roofs, siding, heating systems, insulation and more.

“I want to encourage people to look into this before the winter heating season is upon us. This webpage is a great informational tool that will assist state residents save on their heating costs this winter,” said Sen. Kissel.

Sen. Kissel said that his staff is available to assist constituents who do not have Internet access.