Fuel Affordability Gap Widens

Nov 15, 2013

Patricia Wrice of Operation Fuel.
Credit CT-N

The gap between fuel prices and what low-income people can afford to pay to heat their homes in Connecticut has more than tripled in recent years. Operation Fuel, the nonprofit which provides energy assistance to thousands of households in the state, said the number of residents in need is growing. 

The charity said that as many as 40 percent of households may be stretched to meet their bills this winter, with average costs of more than $2,300. 

Operation Fuel Director Pat Wrice told a news conference that as federal aid levels fall, the problem worsens. She said, "We have many households -- low-income households, and now moderate-income households -- who are really drowning in a sea of unaffordable energy costs, forcing them to make some very difficult and scary choices. These choices are not lifestyle choices; these choices are survival choices."

Operation Fuel is urging utility customers to add a dollar to their bills to support the aid effort. It hopes to distribute around $3 million in assistance this winter.

Watch CT-N's coverage of Thursday's press briefing about the 2013 Home Energy Affordability Gap Report: