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Connecticut Operation Fuel Legislation

Connecticut Operation Fuel Legislation

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

Sec. 16a-41h. Energy assistance program funded through electric and gas company customer donations. (a) Each electric and gas company, as defined in section 16-1, having at least seventy-five thousand customers, shall include in its monthly bills a request to each customer to add a one dollar donation to the bill payment. Each company shall transmit all such donations received each month to Operation Fuel, Inc.; a state-wide nonprofit organization designed to respond to people within the state who are in financial crisis and need emergency energy assistance. Donations shall be distributed to nonprofit social services agencies and private fuel banks in accordance with guidelines established by the board of directors of Operation Fuel, Inc., provided such funds shall be distributed on a priority basis to low-income elderly and working poor households which are not eligible for public assistance under chapter 302 or general assistance under chapter 308 but who are faced with a financial crisis and are unable to make timely payments on winter fuel, electricity or gas bills.

(b) If Operation Fuel, Inc. ceases to exist, such electric and gas companies shall jointly establish a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation for the purpose of holding in trust and distributing such customer donations. The board of directors of such corporation shall consist of eleven members appointed as follows: Four by the companies, each of which shall appoint one member; one by the president pro tempore of the senate; one by the minority leader of the senate; one by the speaker of the house of representatives; one by the minority leader of the house of representatives; and three by the governor. The board shall distribute such funds to nonprofit organizations and social service agencies which provide emergency energy or fuel assistance. The board shall target available funding on a priority basis to low-income elderly and working poor households which are not eligible for public assistance under chapter 302 or general assistance under chapter 308 but who are faced with a financial crisis and are unable to make timely payments on winter fuel, electricity or gas bills.

(c) Not later than the first of September annually, Operation Fuel, Inc. shall submit to the general assembly a report on the implementation of this section. Such report shall include, (1) a summary of the effectiveness of the program, (2) the total amount of the donations received by electric and gas companies and transmitted to Operation Fuel, Inc. under subsection (b) of this section and (3) an accounting of the distribution of such funds by Operation Fuel, Inc. indicating the organizations and agencies receiving funds, the amounts received and distributed by each such organization and agency and the number of households each assisted.