During the Winter Moratorium (November 1, 2021 to May 1, 2023), the Winter Protection Program protects utility hardship individuals who cannot afford to pay for their gas or electricity heating costs. In order to qualify for shut off protection, households need to apply for this program through their local gas/electricity utility provider.
Winter Moratorium Legislation
The terms of the Winter Moratorium are defined by two pieces of state legislation:
- Connecticut General Statutes -16-262c(b)(1) for Electric Service
- Connecticut General Statutes - 262c(b)(1) for Gas Service
According to the Winter Moratorium (Connecticut General Statutes -16-262c(b)(1)):
From November first to May first, inclusive no electric distribution company, no electric supplier and no municipal utility furnishing electricity shall terminate, deny or refuse to reinstate residential electric service in hardship cases where the customer lacks the financial resources to pay his or her entire account.
The Connecticut General Statutes - 262c(b)(1) for gas services states:
From November first to May first, inclusive, no gas company and no municipal utility furnishing gas shall terminate, deny or refuse to reinstate residential gas service in hardship cases where the customer uses gas for heat and lacks the financial resources to pay his or her entire account.
Once the moratorium has ended, gas companies can refuse to reinstate their service during the following warmer months, 5/2 to 10/31 under the following conditions:
- the household had been able to keep their service during the previous winter moratorium due to being coded as a hardship case.
- the household had not issued payment since 5/1. This includes a minimum payment under their payment arrangement, or 20% owed to the gas company at the point of their shut-off date.
These penalty terms (i.e. no reinstatement of service) not apply if a life-threatening situation results from the refusal of the gas company to restore service.