(Waterbury, Conn./CBS Connecticut) – Community Action Agencies are now accepting energy assistance applications.

And the early return of cold weather in Connecticut is serving as a reminder that there are many who will need some type of help paying their energy bills.

New Opportunities, a non-profit based in Waterbury, says it has received 9-thousand applications so far–a 4-perent increase over last year.

Energy services director Joanne Balaschak says federal funding is available.

She says many residents are just a paycheck away from qualifying.

Balaschak says oil deliveries will be certified beginning next Wednesday.

She is encouraging anyone who thinks they may need assistance to call the 2-1-1 Infoline.

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