3 Steps to Lower Utility Bills

Nearly everyone is spending more time at home these days. Whether you're working, attending distance learning classes, or just trying to keep yourself busy, you are probably using a lot more electricity and gas than under normal circumstances, which means your utility bills are going to increase.

Utility companies will not turn off your service during the coronavirus pandemic, but you will still have to pay for the energy you use during this time. Below are three steps to lowering your utility bills and reduce the amount of energy you are using.

Follow the steps listed below to learn how to switch your energy supplier, how to complete an at-home energy assessment of your appliances and consumption habits, and how to apply for income-based utility discounts.

Email SBNeighborhoodAid@gmail.com for printable versions of these materials.

  1. Are you using a third-party energy supplier?

Third-party energy suppliers are companies who buy energy from the utility (National Grid or Eversource), and then sell it back to consumers. Often these suppliers advertise offering a lower “stable” rate compared to Eversource’s rates, which may change a few times a year.

However, with time, third-party supplier rates may become higher than the standard rate offered by the utility, causing your utility bill to rise. Suppliers may also charge additional fees which Eversource does not charge. If the rate is higher than the Eversource basic rate, you should consider switching back to Eversource.

Click here for step-by-step guidance on how to to identify if you are signed up with a third-party supplier, how to cancel the service, as well as learn what rights you have as a utility customer.

2. Are you or your appliances consuming too much electricity?

Some small changes in how you use electricity can make a big difference in your bill over time. Lighting, refrigeration, cooking and appliances account for 56 percent of the total energy use in the normal household. To identify areas where you may be losing energy, click here for the steps to perform an at-home energy audit.

3. Are you utilizing income-based discounts offered by electric and gas utilities?

Many utilities and internet service providers offer income-based discounts for monthly bills. Eversource, National Grid, and Comcast all offer discounted rates for low-income customers. You can also apply to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program organized by Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a fuel assistance program available to homeowners and renters based on your annual income and the number of people in your family.

Click here to learn more about utility discount rates and how to apply to LIHEAP.