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CT’s energy companies offer tips to keep your home warm this winter

A thermostat in a home.
Jesse Costa
/
WBUR
A thermostat in a home.

Cold weather is here, and for most Connecticut residents, that means it’s time to turn up the heat.

Energy experts from the state’s two major power companies, Eversource and United Illuminating, have a few tips for keeping the house warm and the electricity bill down this winter.

Energy Efficiency

Once you’ve decided to turn on the heat, it’s important to make sure it stays in the house.

Eversource Energy Efficiency Manager Ricardo Jordan suggests using caulking and weather stripping to make sure windows and doors are airtight.

“Also, if you have baseboard heaters, make sure that they're clean,” Jordan said. “Any radiators that you have in your house, you want to make sure that they’re not being obstructed. So looking at things like your furniture, your carpets, and things like that, just to make sure the air is flowing properly into the space.”

John Karyczak manages Avangrid’s home energy efficiency program. His team travels to homes to diagnose problem areas and eliminate leaks to keep the cool air out. (Eversource has a similar program).

He said it’s best to call an expert, but do-it-yourself solutions are available too.

“They can go to a local retailer and find various energy efficiency products that they might be able to install themselves, the products are fairly affordable,” Karyczak said.

Experts also recommend keeping drapes and curtains open on sunny days to help warm the house, and avoiding space heaters when possible.

“If you have to use a space heater, just make sure that when you're not in the space that heater is off, and you're unplugging it. Because unplugging it is going to save you a lot of money on your electricity,” Jordan said.

Energy Assistance

United Illuminating and Eversource customers who need help paying their bills can apply for different kinds of assistance.

Lisa Rosso is with Avangrid, UI’s parent company. She said the company offers payment plans that may be able to match payments or even forgive bills.

“You can call 860-832-9438 to see if you qualify for any kind of program,” Rosso said. “You never know unless you try.”

Eversource offers rebates for customers who invest in new high-efficiency heating and cooling upgrades.

For more information about energy assistance and efficiency in Connecticut, visit https://energizect.com/ or call 211.

Eversource and United Illuminating customers can click on their company to see what else they can take advantage of.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.