Federal, state government helps low-income families with heating bills

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BRIDGEPORT - Of course, as the temperature falls, heating bills go up.

For Dayleen Lee in Bridgeport, it is a challenge to make ends meet, even working 12-hour days and going in on her days off.

"It is a struggle," she said. " It is not easy."

It is a harsh reality for many here in Connecticut.

A new report commissioned by Operation Fuel shows more than 313,000 Connecticut households can't afford their energy bills.

That's despite a drop in the price of home heating oil and natural gases in the last year.

This year Lee has help from the federal "Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program" or LIHEAP.

"With this program it gives you a little relief knowing that they can help you with certain things," she said.

On Monday, Senator Chris Murphy held a roundtable discussion in Bridgeport on the costs of home heating.

Murphy said the program keeps people alive over the winter.

He fought for the funding that was included in the recently passed federal budget.

"We have enough money to run the program this winter but if we have a surge in demand or a couple bad storms, we're going to need some extra money from Washington and I'll be there to fight for it," Murphy said.

For more information on LIHEAP or to apply, click here.