NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Winter may still be weeks away, but some Connecticut residents have already turned on their heat and are seeing high heating bills.

Amid the state’s third annual Heating Assistance Awareness Month, Eversource encourages its customers to take advantage of heating assistance programs.

Jess Cain, the vice president of customer operations and assistance programs for Eversource, said people could save up to $530 this season through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP).  

“That CEAP money goes towards their primary heating fuel,” she said. “So, if it’s electric, they’ll get it towards that. If it’s oil, they’ll get it towards that.”  

Cain said customers qualify based on income and the number of household members. For example, she said a family of four making below $80,000 a year could qualify. It differs for other customers.  

“The amount of the household income varies, but if you’re making just over $110,000 a year in your household, but you have eight people in it, you would qualify,” Cain said. 

She said low-income families can also qualify for a new program.

Beginning Dec. 1, Eversource will offer lower rates for electric customers. The utility company said customers will benefit from a 10% or 50% monthly discount.

“If you’re a household of four, and your income is below $48,000, you would be eligible for this 50% discount,” Cain said. 

And that can be a huge heating gift during this giving season. 

“To give that, and to be able to afford your heating alone, it’s a great way to save money on that and save it for the holidays,” Cain said.

She said the best way to apply to the programs is to visit your local community agency.

Click the links below for more information on heating assistance.