Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6780

Public Act No. 05-123

AN ACT CONCERNING LOW INCOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 16a-41a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) The Commissioner of Social Services shall submit to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of energy planning and activities, appropriations, and human services the following on the implementation of the block grant program authorized under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, as amended:

(1) Not later than August first, annually, a Connecticut energy assistance program annual plan which establishes guidelines for the use of funds authorized under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, as amended, and includes the following:

(A) Criteria for determining which households are to receive emergency and weatherization assistance;

(B) A description of systems used to ensure referrals to other energy assistance programs and the taking of simultaneous applications, as required under section 16a-41;

(C) A description of outreach efforts; [and]

(D) Estimates of the total number of households eligible for assistance under the program and the number of households in which one or more elderly or physically disabled individuals eligible for assistance reside; and

(E) Design of a basic grant for eligible households that does not discriminate against such households based on the type of energy used for heating;

(2) Not later than January thirtieth, annually, a report covering the preceding months of the program year, including:

(A) In each community action agency geographic area and Department of Social Services region, the number of fuel assistance applications filed, approved and denied, the number of emergency assistance requests made, approved and denied and the number of households provided weatherization assistance;

(B) In each such area and district, the total amount of fuel, emergency and weatherization assistance, itemized by such type of assistance, and total expenditures to date; and

(C) For each state-wide office of each state agency administering the program, each community action agency and each Department of Social Services region, administrative expenses under the program, by line item, and an estimate of outreach expenditures; and

(3) Not later than November first, annually, a report covering the preceding twelve calendar months, including:

(A) In each community action agency geographic area and Department of Social Services region, (i) seasonal totals for the categories of data submitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection, (ii) the number of households receiving fuel assistance in which elderly or physically disabled individuals reside, and (iii) the average combined benefit level of fuel, emergency and renter assistance;

(B) Types of weatherization assistance provided;

(C) Percentage of weatherization assistance provided to tenants;

(D) The number of homeowners and tenants whose heat or total energy costs are not included in their rent receiving fuel and emergency assistance under the program by benefit level;

(E) The number of homeowners and tenants whose heat is included in their rent and who are receiving assistance, by benefit level; and

(F) The number of households receiving assistance, by energy type and total expenditures for each energy type.

(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall implement a program to purchase number two home heating oil at a reduced rate for low-income households participating in the Connecticut energy assistance program and the state-appropriated fuel assistance program. Each agency administering a fuel assistance program shall submit reports, as requested by the commissioner, concerning pricing information from vendors of number two home heating oil participating in the program. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, a vendor's regular retail price per gallon of number two home heating oil, the reduced price per gallon paid by the state for the heating oil, the number of gallons delivered to the state under the program and the total savings under the program due to the purchase of number two home heating oil at a reduced rate.

Approved June 24, 2005