New Tool Unlocks Connecticut Utility Bill Forecasts, Energy Assistance, and Energy Efficiency Resources.
Energy Bills No Longer Take Connecticut Residents by Surprise Thanks to an Innovative Tool by Home Comfort Practice.
/PRNewswire/ — Home Comfort Practice (HCP), a home energy efficiency company based in Stratford, Connecticut, and a leading partner of Energize CT, has launched a new online tool that provides up-to-date utility bill projections for nearly every Connecticut household. In addition, the interactive application allows residents to browse city-level resources for emergency energy assistance and access free-of-charge/low-cost energy efficiency solutions funded by the State.
This winter, COVID19 triggered dramatic fluctuations in fuel prices, which produced a staggering increase in heating bills. Distressed residents seeking assistance reached out to HCP in record numbers. “Inflation is causing the costs of heating fuel, electricity, gasoline, and groceries to increase, so households are being forced to make difficult choices while struggling to keep their families warm. We haven’t seen anything like this before,” said Lorenzo Wyatt, owner of HCP.
Prompted to action, HCP developed a tool to help residents forecast energy bills and find local resources to navigate an already challenging year. The objective was to empower households in three key ways: 1) facilitate access to emergency energy assistance for folks who have fallen behind, 2) prevent bills from getting out of control through energy efficiency solutions, and 3) predict utility bill increases so they wouldn’t be caught off guard. HCP’s new visual interface places these three capabilities at residents’ fingertips.
Users can browse utility bill forecasts for each city. Estimates use pricing and consumption data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and U.S. Census Bureau. Integrating energy bill data from partner organizations such as Operation Fuel into the underlying statistical models will improve projections.
Within the tool, users are also invited to apply for Home Energy Solutions (HES), a critical line of defense for households seeking to reduce high energy bills. HES consists of 4-6 hours of in-home weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades, and it is free-of-charge for eligible families. This rate-payer funded program offers an average of $450 in annual energy savings.
Finally, families behind on utility payments are guided to the appropriate local agencies and organizations committed to emergency energy assistance in their towns. The tool guides users to their designated Community Action Agencies, which administer the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Residents can also connect with Operation Fuel, a trusted local non-profit delivering energy bill relief for over 43 years. Here’s what Operation Fuel’s, Executive Director Brenda Watson, had to say: “Here at Operation Fuel, we talk a lot about the need to use #PowerForGood — that’s exactly what this tool does, and it’s why we are proud to be part of this effort. This important resource lets residents know help is available, where to find it, and predict when it may be needed. When households use the available efficiency resources to reduce their energy bills, more emergency assistance money helps more families in need
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