Companies Set Dates for Additional Face-to-Face Meetings with Customer Service Representatives in Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Woodbridge
ORANGE, Conn. – Tuesday, April 4, 2023 – United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), today announced the companies will host customer service events in three communities across Connecticut, including two customer enrollment events and one customer education forum. Building on efforts to help customers manage their bill this winter, the companies will offer customers the opportunity to meet directly with customer service representatives, who will provide information on financial hardship and assistance programs. The events will be held in Bloomfield (April 6), Bridgeport (April 20), and Woodbridge (April 20).
UI, SCG, and Connecticut Natural Gas recently hosted customer service events in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Stratford, which were well attended and received positive feedback from customers, and the companies are actively planning additional in-person engagement opportunities throughout other communities in their service territory.
“Our customer outreach programming has provided a great opportunity for our customers to meet face-to-face with company representatives, and we’re pleased that more than 300 customers have been able to enroll in bill management programs at these forums,” said Frank Reynolds, President and CEO of UI, SCG, and CNG. “We know that every little bit makes a difference, so we’re pleased to work with local communities in our service territory to provide additional opportunities to engage with our customer service representatives, and learn a little bit more about the programs we have available to help them manage their bills.”
In its first four customer service events, UI, SCG, and CNG enrolled more than 300 customers in bill management programs, and worked with local organizations like Operation Fuel and local Community Action Agencies to make information about additional financial aid assistance programs available.
Workshops will take place at the following dates and locations:
||Alvin & Beatrice Wood Human Services Center
330 Park Ave
Bloomfield, CT 06002
|Thursday, April 6, 2023
3 PM – 6 PM
||Alliance for Community Empowerment
1070 Park Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06604
|Thursday, April 20, 2023
3 PM – 6 PM
UI, SCG, CNG
Note: Open to Woodbridge Residents 55 years old and older who RSVP with the Woodbridge Senior Center: 203.389.3430.
11 Meetinghouse Lane
Woodbridge, CT 06525
|Thursday, April 20, 2023
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
The CNG enrollment event in Bloomfield is held in partnership with the Community Renewable Team, which will be in attendance and enrolling customers in the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Additionally, customers will be able to meet with a vendor with Home Energy Solutions / Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible (HES/HES-IE), the residential energy efficiency program through EnergizeCT.
The UI and SCG event in Bridgeport will be held in partnership with the Alliance for Community Empowerment, Inc., which will help enroll customers in the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Customers will also be able to meet with a vendor with HES/HES-IE.
The event in Woodbridge will be held in partnership with the Woodbridge Senior Center Lunch & Learn Series, and is open to Woodbridge residents 55 years and older who RSVP with the Senior Center at (203) 389-3430. Company representatives will provide residents with information on how to save money on their energy bills through Hardship Assistance programs and through residential energy efficiency programs.
To help customers manage the unprecedented spike in energy supply costs, in January 2023, UI announced the implementation of an urgent financial relief package that will deliver approximately $40 monthly in direct financial relief to customers enrolled as financial hardship between January-April. Additionally, UI directed $3.3 million to Operation Fuel to support the organization’s mission to provide emergency energy and utility assistance to households in Connecticut that are facing financial crisis. The measures were designed in partnership with the Administration of Governor Lamont and the Office of Consumer Counsel, and approved by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
For more information or to become qualified, customers can visit the company website or contact UI at 800.722.5584. Customers seeking financial assistance and relief from Operation Fuel can apply directly to Operation Fuel.
At the workshops, UI, SCG, and CNG will also provide customers with information on the following bill management programs:
- Matching Payment Program – Residential customers covered by the Winter Protection Program and who heat by electricity or gas may qualify for the Matching Payment Program. If you qualify, we will work with you to develop a monthly budget agreement. If you keep that agreement, we will match your payments to reduce your back balance.
- Bill Forgiveness Program (UI Only) – This program helps low-income customers maintain year-round service and pay down delinquent balances by company-matched dollars. A payment arrangement plan helps qualified hardship customers pay past-due electric bills. Under BFP, if payments are current, a past-due balance can be "forgiven" over time.
- Winter Protection Program – UI and SCG offers winter protection to all our customers that qualify. If you meet eligibility requirements, we will not turn off your electricity or gas between November 1 and May 1. The Winter Protection Plan must be renewed annually, beginning in October. To prevent your service from being shut off after May 1, contact UI or SCG to set up a payment arrangement.
- Flexible Payment Arrangements – UI, SCG, and CNG will work with customers if they are having trouble paying their utility bill. UI, SCG, and CNG offer flexible payment arrangements for all customers needing assistance. These arrangements can be spread out up to 18 months for residential customers and 6 months for non-residential customers. Current payment arrangements may be renegotiated due to a change in financial circumstances Per Conn. Agencies Reg. § 16-3-100(b)(3)(A). These arrangements may be discussed confidentially by calling UI Customer Care Center at 800.722.5584 or SCG Customer Care at 800-659-8299.
- Called to Active Duty? – Customers may qualify for temporary suspension of collections action and disconnection of their electric service if they are called into active duty in the U.S. military.
- Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible (HES-IE) – Through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, United Illuminating administers the HES-IE program. This weatherization program is designed to help customers with limited income or financial needs reduce their energy bills.
For more information on financial assistance programs offered by UI, please visit the UI website or call (800) 722-5584. For more information on assistance and programs offered by SCG, visit the SCG website or call (800) 659-8299. For more information on assistance programs offered by CNG, visit the CNG website or call (860) 524-8361 or (203) 869-6900.
Though many customers are on the UI Standard Service rate, some customers elect to purchase electricity directly from independent suppliers. Customers are encouraged to review their bill to make sure they know who their supplier of choice is, and the end date of their service. Customers can visit https://energizect.com/rate-board/choosing-a-supplier to compare prices.
UI is also reminding residents of simple actions they can take to help make their home as efficient as possible and reduce the impact of rising supply costs on their energy bill.
- Install wall-outlet and switch-plate gaskets to reduce the flow of cold air.
- Install storm windows, or purchase window insulator kits to reduce drafts.
- Be sure your home’s insulation meets U.S. Department of Energy specifications for your geographic area, and that ceilings, walls, and floors over unfinished crawl spaces are all properly insulated.
- Insulate hot water pipes.
- Install storm doors to reduce heat transfer to the outside.
Heating & Cooling
- Have your heating equipment periodically checked by a service professional.
- Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces and vents frequently and keep them unobstructed.
- Keep insulated drapes or shades closed in summer and open on sunny winter days. Close curtains or drapes on winter nights to reduce heat loss.
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use to keep heated or cooled air from escaping up the chimney.
- Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree above 68º F can use 3% more energy.
- Open windows in spring and fall rather than using air conditioning.
- Install programmable or wi-fi thermostat to automatically control heating and cooling.
- Clean or replace furnace filters periodically, and have your furnace burner checked and cleaned annually.
- Use ceiling or portable fans in place of room air conditioners whenever possible.
- If you use electric heat, consider replacing it with a high efficiency ductless heat pump system, which can cut electricity use by as much as 50 percent.
# # #