'You Have A Potential To Raise $2 million'

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – An appeal has gone out to help lower income families in Connecticut at risk of having their power shut off as the dog days of summer approach.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports, state law protects lower-income families from power shut-offs during the freezing winter months even if they cannot afford their bills.

However, needy families in Connecticut have no such protection during the summer.

Patricia Wrice, the executive director of Operation Fuel, said residents can pitch in by adding $1 or more to when paying electric bills. That money, she said, goes directly to those who need it.

“And 100 percent of that money that’s raised goes for direct assistance. We take no administrative costs out of that,” Wrice told Schneidau.

Wrice added the fundraising is a year-round effort.

“We have almost two million customers, electric customers in the state. So if a person only added a dollar once on their bill, you have a potential to raise $2 million,” she added.

Operation Fuel launched a limited emergency energy assistance program for those in need at the start of the month.

The group said the funding will be available through October 31, or until funds are exhausted.

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