Despite relatively mild temperatures, Operation Fuel is already preparing for its winter energy assistance program as more than 300 people attended its annual Energy Assistance Conference Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Operation Fuel held the meeting in partnership with Eversource Energy and Avangrid subsidiaries: United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Connecticut Natural Gas. There were representatives from fuel banks throughout Connecticut and several state agencies at the conference along with staff from Operation Fuel and the utilities.

The energy assistance conference focused on the availability of energy assistance and various programs that the utility companies have to help lower- and moderate-income households manage their energy expenses.

“More than 500,000 Connecticut households are struggling to pay for basic necessities, including the high cost of home energy. Operation Fuel wants to help as many families and individuals as possible, so they can keep their homes warm and safe this winter,” said Brenda Watson, Operation Fuel’s executive director.

Operation Fuel’s statewide network of more than 100 fuel banks will begin taking applications on Dec. 3, 2018. Individuals who need energy assistance should call 211.

Operation Fuel provides emergency energy assistance throughout Connecticut to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly and disabled individuals who are not eligible for energy assistance from government-funded programs. For more information on Operation Fuel, or to make a donation, go to operationfuel.org.