Need for fuel assistance spikes as temps drop

As the temperature drops, officials at local fuel banks are seeing a spike in the need for home-heating assistance. The nonprofit Operation Fuel released a study Wednesday that found a gap between

News 12 Staff

Dec 11, 2014, 5:36 AM

Updated 3,475 days ago

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As the temperature drops, officials at local fuel banks are seeing a spike in the need for home-heating assistance.
The nonprofit Operation Fuel released a study Wednesday that found a gap between what low-income families are charged for electricity or natural gas and what they can afford.
Households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty level can find themselves facing heating bills that account for 52 percent of their income, according to study author Roger Colton.
"There's always the basic need," says Sterlene Salter, of Operation Fuel Bank in Bridgeport. "We get the same clients most of the time. We get new clients that are young people that don't know they have oil heat until it runs out."
Salter's fuel bank helps about 100 people each month from parts of Stratford, Bridgeport, Fairfield and Easton. Salter says lower oil prices haven't reduced the need for assistance.
Santa Fuel President Peter Russell says people can save money on their fuel bills by locking in their prices, creating budgets and by having an energy audit done.


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