The program was founded in 1974 as a “Cold Line” for those who could not afford their heating – TVCCA helped 164 people pay for heat that year. By 1977, TVCCA Energy Assistance had an annual budget of $3,000. In 2015, TVCCA Energy Assistance paid nearly $6 Million in Energy Benefits to a client base of over 9,400 individuals.
Basic benefits range from $285-$550, with additional Crisis and Safety Net benefits possibly available for fuel heating customers. TVCCA Energy Assistance Program embraces the “No Wrong Door” philosophy, ensuring clients are linked to additional heating assistance programs as well as basic need services and supports.
To truly understand TVCCA’s Energy Assistance program however, one has to start at the federal level. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a United States federal social services program first established in 1981. LIHEAP is funded annually through Congressional appropriations to offer financial assistance to qualifying low income households who require support in paying their home heating bills.
The state of Connecticut Department of Social Services distributes funds received from LIHEAP through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). CEAP funds are distributed to local Community Action Agencies (CAA’s), such as TVCCA, to provide Energy Assistance to their designated service areas.
TVCCA utilizes its allocated CEAP funds to administer the Energy Assistance Program in New London County. TVCCA administers the Energy Assistance program out of its two main offices in Norwich (401 West Thames St., Unit 201, Norwich, CT 06360) and New London (83 Huntington St., New London, CT 06320).
TVCCA also successfully partners with town officials to provide Energy Assistance locally to the residents of Colchester, East Lyme, Franklin, Jewett City, Lebanon, Montville, Pawcatuck, Stonington, Old Lyme, Preston, Salem, Sprague, and Waterford. In addition, Norwich Public Utilities funds an intake worker to provide Energy Intakes at a site locally accessible to their main offices.
Enrollment is based on income threshold tied to the size of a household. A single person with an annual income of less than $33,132 qualifies for support, while a family of four that makes less than $63,716 can sign up.
If you need help, call TVCCA today at 860-425-6681.