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    Eversource Encourages Energy Efficiency Steps Before Summer Weather Sets In


    June 24, 2022 - The Newtown Bee

     

      BERLIN — With the price of natural gas and oil continuing to rise worldwide, the price of electricity is also going up. The increase is due to several factors — the conflict in Ukraine causing energy supply constraints, continued increased demand as the economy recovers from the pandemic and extreme weather impacting gas-producing states. As summer approaches, Eversource is encouraging customers to act now to save money and energy to help avoid a spike in seasonal electricity usage.

      “On average, Connecticut customers use 35% more electricity during the summer months and that can get costly. We want to help our customers save money and avoid spikes in their energy bills,” said Eversource Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and Energy Strategy Penni Conner. “During the hot summer weather, air conditioners, fans and other appliances are working overtime to keep things cool inside and that means customers’ overall bills will go up. That’s why we urge customers to take advantage of our energy efficiency programs now — before the hot weather arrives.”

      In Connecticut, the energy supply price changes twice a year — January 1st and July 1st. This year, on July 1, the Standard Service Charge for residential customers who receive their energy supply from Eversource will change from 11.574 cents per kilowatt-hour to 12.190 cents per kilowatt-hour. Eversource does not earn a profit on the cost of electricity — the energy company only charges customers what it pays generators for producing the power. On average, an Eversource residential electric customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours of power each month could see an increase of about 2.2% over their current monthly bill — approximately $3.96 per month — on the supply portion of the bill. How much a customer pays will depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather conditions. The new Standard Service Charge will be in effect from July 1 through December 31, 2022.

      Three actions customers can take now to beat the heat this summer:

      1. Use the new Cooling Calculator on Eversource.com. The tool helps customers understand how much electricity their current cooling system uses and the impact of small changes to temperature settings.

      2. Sign up for a Home Energy Solutions home energy performance assessment and service. During the visit, a certified technician checks a customer’s home to identify places it can be tightened up to save money and energy. The technician will do on-the-spot improvements like sealing up drafty doors and windows and closing air gaps around pipes and more to help keep the heat out.

      3. Take advantage of the Kill A Watt electricity usage meter which shows how much power is being used by most home devices. The Kill A Watt kits are available for borrowing from nearly 200 libraries around the state. A list of participating libraries can be found at Eversource.com.

      Additional tips for keeping temperatures and energy costs down in the summer:

      *Keep air conditioners set at or near 78 degrees — a generally comfortable temperature that requires less energy to reach and maintain than cooler temperatures. For every degree higher on the thermostat, the air conditioner will use 1-3% less electricity.

      *Don’t block air flow. Keep air vents clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains, and rugs. For those with central air and floor vents, consider using vent deflectors to direct and increase the reach of cooled air.

      *Operate major appliances during the cooler parts of the day. Energy is conserved by using appliances such as clothes washers and dryers early in the morning or late in the evening, when there is also less demand on the electric system.

      *Keep blinds closed when it’s hot out to prevent unwanted heat from entering a home through windows. Using curtains, shades, and blinds can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.

      *Switch to ENERGY STAR® certified LED lights. These energy-efficient bulbs run cooler and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

      *Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise and at a higher speed in the summer to circulate the breeze more effectively, creating a cooling, wind chill effect. Remember to turn the fan off when leaving the room.

      *Look for the ENERGY STAR rating when purchasing new appliances. Also, be sure to choose the right size when purchasing an air conditioning unit. An oversized or undersized AC unit is less effective and uses more energy.

      Help is available for customers who need it. Eversource encourages customers to enroll in one of its payment plans or assistance programs if they need help with their energy bill.

      *Budget Billing Plan helps avoid seasonal spikes on your energy bill by letting customers pay a fixed amount each month based on their average annual usage.

      *The Matching Payment Program reduces past due balances with affordable monthly payments — as low as $50 for electric or gas heating customers who receive public assistance benefits.

      *The New Start Program forgives overdue balances for electric customers as on-time monthly budget payments are made. (For example, if your budget payment amount is set at $150 per month and your past due balance is $1,200, for every month you make your required $150 payment towards your bill, Eversource will reduce your past-due balance by $100.)

      *Payment Plans are available to all customers to help pay their past-due balance over a period of time.

      Regardless of financial need, customers are eligible for various payment programs and are urged to call Eversource at 800-286-2828 or visit Eversource.com to find the right plan for them. They can also enroll online at Eversource.com/BillHelp. To learn about the many energy saving programs available, visit Eversource.com.

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