As Energy Supply Prices Continue to Rise Eversource Encourages Efficiency Steps
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, Massachusetts customers use 40% 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 Massachusetts, the energy supply price changes twice a year on January 1st and July 1st. This year, on July 1, the Basic Service rate for residential customers in Eastern Massachusetts who receive their energy supply from Eversource will change from 15.764 cents per kilowatt-hour to 17.871 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. With this adjustment to the Basic Service rate, on average, an Eversource residential electric customer in Eastern Massachusetts who uses 550 kilowatt hours of power each month will see a bill increase of approximately $11.59 per month. How much a customer pays will depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather conditions.
Immediate actions customers can take now to beat the heat this summer:
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.
Schedule a Home Energy Assessment. With a Home Energy Assessment, an energy specialist will help customers identify money-saving rebates, offer expert home improvement advice, and suggest energy-saving tips. 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.
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.
Additional tips for keeping temperatures and energy costs down in the summer:
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 like clothes washers and dryers early in the morning or late in the evening when there is 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. The 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, and is hosting a free virtual webinar at noon on June 2 for Massachusetts customers to learn about available financial assistance, payment plans and energy efficiency programs. Advanced registration is required, and customers can sign up to attend this session at Eversource.com/Billhelp. Programs and assistance options covered will include:
New Start – Income-eligible, electric and gas customers can reduce or eliminate their outstanding balance in as little as 12 months when they make on-time monthly payments and Eversource will make up the difference.
Discount Rate – Customers who receive public assistance benefits with a household income at or below 60% of the state median income may be eligible to receive a 36% (electric) or 24% (natural gas) discount on their monthly bill.
Budget Billing Plan – Customers can avoid seasonal spikes on their energy bill by paying a fixed amount each month based on their average annual usage through budget billing.
Payment Plans – Residential electric and gas customers can enroll in a payment plan to pay a past-due balance over a period of time.
Energy Efficiency – Customers who meet income eligibility requirements and are on the discount rate may receive no-cost energy-saving improvements to help keep the home cool this summer, including insulation and appliance replacements. Information is available at Eversource.com.
Customers are eligible for various payment programs regardless of their financial needs, and are urged to call Eversource at 866-861-6225 in Eastern Massachusetts or visit Eversource.com to find the right plan for them.