Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

February 14, 2024
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin |


HARTFORD, CT — Today, State Senator Matt Lesser led debate that unanimously approved $17 million to supplement dwindling federal funding for heating assistance for Connecticut residents through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Operation Fuel. There are over 70,000 households currently enrolled in these programs, and as of today, over 16,600 fuel delivery households, the vast majority of households receiving delivered fuels, had exhausted their LIHEAP benefits.

“It is 21 degrees outside, there is still a lot of winter left and we can’t ask Connecticut families to wait one more minute for help from Washington,” said State Senator Matt Lesser. “Despite strong support from Connecticut’s delegation, Speaker Mike Johnson and the U.S. House majority have failed to deliver funding for families and seniors in New England. Low-income families here are stuck on as little as $180 of assistance for the entire winter. I have been working on this issue since the fall, and while I am pleased that the legislature has acted to bridge the funding gap, we need to find a long term solution, because leaving our residents out in the cold is simply not an option.”

The $17 million will be allocated from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. $13.5 million will go to the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) and distributes federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. An additional $3.5 million will go to the non-profit Operation Fuel for home fuel delivery.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families warm through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. LIHEAP provides federally funded assistance to reduce the costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and minor energy-related home repairs. Operation Fuel is a Hartford-based nonprofit that provides year-round emergency energy assistance to low- to moderate-income households across Connecticut in collaboration with a statewide network of local fuel banks.

While LIHEAP is traditionally fully funded by the federal government, funds were increased significantly during fiscal years 2021 and 2022 in response to the pandemic. Republicans in Congress have since rolled back funding despite increased demand.

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