HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – For people who cannot afford their utility bills, their homes can get ice cold this time of year. That is the idea behind an eye-catching display in Hartford.
The house built in front of Hartford’s Old State House actually is made of ice, right down to the furniture. Operation Fuel set it up to draw attention to the 400,000 people in Connecticut who struggle to pay their utility bills. The head of Operation Fuel knows what that is like first hand.
“Growing up was tough,” said Operation Fuel Executive Director Brenda Watson. “We had a lot of good times and sometimes we didn’t have enough money at the end of the month to pay the bills and both my parents worked.”
Having a job is no guarantee you’ll have enough money to heat your home. Operation Fuel offers help to the needy, and also asks Eversource customers to add a dollar to their bills to help pay for it.
“Any opportunity we have to educate the public, to let them know about the programs and services that are there to help them, and to promote add a dollar, we are always happy to do that,” said Theresa Hopkins-Staten, the President of the Eversource Energy Foundation.
The Ice House certainly brings a lot of attention to the issue. It is made up of 135 blocks of ice and it took 16 hours for the award-winning Ice Matters to build. That is longer than it will be open, but the effort is worth it.
“Because it brings to the forefront that people really don’t have the basic needs and necessities that a lot of people take for granted,” said Ice Maters owner Bill Covitz. “We can turn our heat on. A lot of people can, but there are so many people in Connecticut that can’t do it.”
Unfortunately, because it is supposed to be warm and rainy on Saturday, they have to tear the Ice House down Friday evening. If you would like to donate to Operation Fuel, click here.