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Operation Fuel Releases Energy Affordability Report

December 17, 2015—Operation Fuel released a report this Wednesday documenting the home energy affordability gap in Connecticut. It found that more than 313,000 low-income households can't afford their energy bills, and that there is a lack of resources to address the situation. The affordability gap for these households, those who have incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, is over $471 million, down from last year's $780 million.

Fuel Funds Celebrate Previous Assistance Numbers, Look to Current Heating Season

December 11, 2015—Fuel funds across the U.S. are firing up their programs as the mercury drops this season. The Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF) in Massachusetts recently announced that its “Give the Gift of Warmth” campaign generated just under $600,000 in contributions for the 2014-2015 year. Donations to the campaign come as a result of a cooperative effort between energy companies in the state and their customers through various matching and giving programs throughout the winter heating season.

Exelon-Pepco Merger Once Again Being Considered by DC Public Service Commission

December 4, 2015—This past August the District of Columbia's Public Service Commission (PSC) voted unanimously against the merger of Pepco Holdings with the Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. The PSC was the last hurdle for the $6.8 billion merger, which had already been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the states of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. However, the merger of the two companies is not dead yet, as the PSC is considering a revised merger agreement.

Maine to Repurpose $3.8 Million from Fuel Purchase Budget to Weatherization

November 6, 2015—Maine was granted permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to raise the amount of LIHEAP funding that goes toward their weatherization program from 15 percent to 25 percent this week. According to LIHEAP regulations, LIHEAP grantees can allocate up to 15 percent of their funds toward weatherization. However, grantees can submit a waiver request to HHS, and, if approved, can increase that amount to 25 percent.

Utilities Propose Higher Fixed Charges to Make Up for Lost Revenue Due to Conservation Efforts

October 23, 2015—Several utilities nationwide have been proposing higher fixed charges for customers, up to double-digit percentage increases, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. This was the case in Missouri and Kansas where the fixed rate was proposed to rise from $9.00 and $10.71 respectively, to $25.00 and $27.00 respectively.

Minnesota Kicks Off Winter Disconnect Protection Season

October 16, 2015—Minnesota began its "Cold Weather Rule" ( Minnesota Statute 216B.097 ) this week. According to the rule, between the dates of October 15 and April 15, utilities are not allow to disconnect the utility service of any residential customer whose primary heating source would be affected by the cutoff. They must also reconnect any qualifying customers who already have been cut off.

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