Yesterday, we welcomed area health and human service providers to United Way to learn about fuel banks and programs available to their clients. Case managers heard about TVCCA's CT Energy Assistance program and Operation Fuel, the two key heating assistance programs. United Way's Project Warm-up is also available, but only as a last resort when no other means of assistance is available, and so that no one freezes this winter.
There are things we can ALL do to lower our heating costs and ensure our homes are as energy-efficient as possible, especially now when the cold weather is setting in. Our friends at Connecticut Light & Power offer the following tips:
- Move furniture and draperies away from heating units.
- Place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room.
- Clean/vacuum radiator surfaces as dust can block heat flow.
- Allow sunlight to warm your home during the daytime by opening the curtains and shades on the windows located on the south and west side of your home.
- Close off unused rooms, closet doors, and doors to unheated areas.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed. Keeping the damper open allows warm air to escape by the chimney.
- Clean or replace furnace filters monthly to keep your furnace working efficiently.
- Turn the thermostat down when you leave the house or go to bed. You can also invest in a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower the temperature when you leave the house and warm it when you return.
- Wear layers of clothing instead of turning up the thermostat. Air that is trapped between the layers of clothing will keep you warmer.
- Make sure the windows are closed tightly near your thermostat. This way, your furnace will not continue to work when the house is already heated.
- Draw the curtains and shades at night to keep cold air out.
- Warm air can escape through electrical outlets. To prevent this, place foam gaskets behind electrical outlet covers and use plastic outlet plugs on outside walls to prevent cold air from entering the house.
To find more information on heating your home more efficiently, visit CL&P's Home Energy Solutions site at: http://www.energizect.com/residents/solutions/energy-assessments. The program assists eligible low-income customers to lower their electric use, reduce heat loss, conserve hot water, and switch to energy efficient lighting.
Also, If your family's combined gross annual income is below the state's 60 percent income median, you may qualify for our Home Energy Solutions – Income-Eligible program where the $75 fee for a Home Energy Assessment can be waived and you may receive additional energy-saving services for free.
There are many other programs that may be of assistance to you. For a listing of programs and contact information, please download our Ways to Save on Your Heating Costs brochure.