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How to save money when energy rates rise

Eversource and United Illuminating customers can expect to pay more on their bills starting January 1.

CONNECTICUT, USA — The new year is just a few days away and with that will come new rate hikes for Eversource and United Illuminating customers. You can expect to pay about $80 more a month on your electric bill. Ahead of that January 1 increase, there are some steps you can take to try to save some money.

Starting in the kitchen, Eversource recommends letting food cool before you put it in the fridge. Hot food can throw off the temperature inside and cause it to use more energy. 

Also, an overloaded fridge can force it to have to work harder. 

Instead of washing your dishes by hand, use the dishwasher. Check to see if your dishwasher has an eco-feature. Experts say most newer models have one and you can select a more energy-efficient cycle. 

"That’s going to increase efficiency because it’s only going to be cold water. That one you do have to physically press but most of them do have that automatic sensing," said Elena Hynes, sales representative for S.K. Lavery.

Energy supply prices change twice a year, so this rate hike will last at least from January 1 to June 30. It’s cold for several of those months, so look for any places where you can eliminate a draft like windows and doors. 

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"Even if it’s just a little crack it will cool down the house big time. So filling in those cracks can really help," said Bob Krieger, owner of Katz’s ACE Hardware.

When it comes to doing your laundry, Eversource recommends you avoid using too much detergent, it can cause your washer to use more energy by needing to add extra rinse cycles. 

Dry two or more loads in a row, the extra heat helps the dryer use less energy. And again, check to see if you have some sort of eco-cycle. 

Rising prices are leading people to look for those more cost-efficient options. 

"Most of the time we get, oh is this energy efficient? Is it saving water? How is it going to save money? All of those questions," Hynes said.

With just a few days until the rate hikes take effect there is still time to make the small changes that could make a big difference. 

"They’re all inexpensive. You can do it, it’s easy, it will save you at least $100 this winter if not even more if you just do a few things," Krieger said.

More energy-saving tips from Eversource can be found here.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at mmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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