SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — Heating costs have been on the higher side in Connecticut for a long time so oil prices doubling from a year ago means more financial stress for homeowners.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising global demand for oil has led to a spike in prices. Global oil prices are now nearly $100 a barrel.
“It’s getting out of control, it’s going up by the day, unfortunately the customers and even myself, I heat with oil, so we all feel it,” said Sean Flewelling, a driver for Mitchell Fuel.
Sean was filling up an oil tank at a home in South Windsor Thursday. The homeowner was a Ukrainian native.
“I want them to protect Ukraine,” said Bohdan Maksymiuk. “I want the allies to do what they said they would.”
Expensive oil prices are not much of a concern right now for Maksymiuk as he thinks about his family.
“They bombed Ivano-Frankivsk and she actually heard it, she spoke to me on Facebook today and we talked about it. They are terrified.”
With Russia being the world’s number two oil producer, supply disruptions are expected to keep increasing fuel prices.
“People have been struggling with their home energy for a long time,” said Brenda Watson, executive director of Operation Fuel.
Watson told News 8 Connecticut ranks first in the nation for home energy costs. This season alone, they have provided fuel assistance to 3,000 customers and expect to double that over the next few months.
“We are very likely to see people seeking our assistance for oil in times they normally wouldn’t like late spring or summer for hot water,” Watson said.
An East Hartford homeowner has taken advantage of Operation Fuel’s program. The homeowner has been through some challenging financial times but through this program, she has hope.
“I can be warm. It’s really hard to be happy and to be hopeful and to be excited about life in general, to be healthy when you are cold, when you are in the dark and can’t pay your bills. It’s important to remember there are good people and good organizations out there trying to help,” said Patti Summers.
Operation Fuel provides up to $500 to households earning up to 75% of the state’s median income. That is $65,000 for an individual and $125,000 for a family of four.
If you need help, you can apply online here.