WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) – Get ready for higher heating bills this winter. This comes as energy companies are warning consumers about the supply of crude oil taking a hit.
Fuel companies are back at it, filling up oil tanks to ensure customers are ready for winter. News 8 caught up with Sean Flewelling of Mitchell Fuel as he was fulfilling an order in Windsor.
“We delayed them to now, so they are pretty thirsty,” Flewelling said.
The oil going into your tank is getting more expensive, with OPEC cutting their production of 2 million barrels a day, which is further tightening the supply. Companies are putting extra costs on customers.
“A lot of customers understand it’s not our fault,” Flewelling said. “We are moving with the market. As it goes up, so do we.”
Chris Herb, President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, says the need for home heating assistance will see a significant increase this winter.
“Budgets are already tight,” Herb said. “And then you throw increasing energy costs. Yeah, I think you’ll see people migrate to programs to pay their heating bills.”
Fuel companies are already making their rounds through neighborhoods to fill oil tanks ahead of the cold months. If you rely on deliveries, there are additional benefits if you meet the income requirements of agencies offering heating assistance.
“It’s your neighborhood, your friend down the street, at the grocery store,” said Elizabeth Vinike, Senior Director of Administration at CRT. “You never know the struggle a person could be having.”
Eligible homeowners can apply for the federally funded Connecticut Energy Assistance Program through agencies like The Community Renewal Team, which services Hartford and Middlesex counties.
“Once you are income-eligible for energy assistance, receiving that benefit, we then can come out to assess the house and determine whether we can make it more efficient and bring bills down,” Vinike explained.
A basic benefit through the program can be anywhere from $250 to $600. Energy assistance is available for households of two earning less than about $52,000 a year and a family of our earning $76,000 a year.
If you’re unsure what agency to contact for heating assistance, you can call 211.
For more information, click here.