Tips for Managing Utility and Heating Costs
A Message from Richard Porth         
President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut  
As temperatures drop, home utility usage begins to rise--and so do utility bills. Fortunately, Energize CT offers many strategies that encourage efficient energy usage and can help keep your utility expenses down this winter. 
Whether you heat your home with oil, gas, or electricity, the  Energize CT website has tips to help keep heating costs in check. A few of these tips are included below. For a full list of smart energy tips, visit the Energize CT Tips Home Page.
Energy Saving Tips:
  • Many hot water heaters are factory set for 140° F. That is a lot higher than most people need, and resetting it to 120° F can save energy and money.
  • Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits -- each degree above 68° F adds 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
  • Close heating vents and radiator valves in unused areas.
  • Make sure that drapes and furniture do not block registers for supply or return air.
  • During winter months, closing curtains or drapes at night can cut down on heat loss.
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible, including closets and rooms not in use.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk and weather-strip wherever necessary.
For more information about energy conservation, utility assistance, home weatherization and other programs or resources available to help with utility and energy costs, please visit the Utility Assistance page on the 2-1-1 website. You can also check out our eLibrary papers regarding Energy Assistant/Utilities at 211ct.org.

AccessHealthCT Open Enrollment Begins November 1st
Access Health CT (AHCT) is Connecticut's official health insurance marketplace. AHCT offers Connecticut residents and employers a range of quality, affordable health and dental insurance options from several health insurance partners. For coverage that begins on January 1, 2018, AHCT open enrollment begins  November 1st  and will continue until December 22, 2017. If you are ready to enroll click HERE.

Free, in-person help from enrollment specialists and certified brokers is currently available. For a list of locations, click HERE. To learn more visit http://learn.accesshealthct.com.

Visit 211childcare.org to Find the Best Child Care Fit for your Family
2-1-1 Child Care is a free and confidential service that  helps  families find child care that best meets their needs. Whether you are looking for a child care center, licensed family care or summer camp for your children, 2-1-1 Child Care's comprehensive database and advanced search and filter features can help you identify the best resource to care for your children.

Visit www.211childcare.org and click, " Search for Child Care" to begin searching for child care options near you. After selecting the type or types of child care you are seeking, age of the child/children needing care and the location of your child care needs, click search to begin comparing child care options. Child care providers are compared by:
  • Location
  • Hours of operation
  • Ages served
  • Fees
  • Accreditation
Search results can also be filtered to only display child care options that meet your specific needs such as availability of financial assistance, wheel chair accessibility, experience working with special needs children and provider accreditation. 

Clicking on an individual child care resource will  display addition al information such as primary language spoken and licensing status. The 2-1-1 Child Care database will include Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) ratings (when available) and is adding soon the licensing inspection and violation results so that parents know the safety and educational quality of the child care options they are considering.

Visit 211childcare.org to find quality and affordable child care that satisfies the needs of your family.  

2-1-1 Community Events Calendar 
The 2-1-1 Online Community Events Calendar is maintained by the 2-1-1 Information Services team  and is a source for information on upcoming events from around the state. The calendar allows those interested in local happenings to search by day and location as well as narrow their search by event category. Categories include:
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Food
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • Veterans
Submissions can be made to the 2-1-1 Community Events Calendar, as long as the event is free of charge, open to the public, and sponsored or hosted by an agency that is currently listed with 2-1-1.
Events can be submitted for possible inclusion in the 2-1-1 Community Events Calendar at this link, and the calendar can be accessed at the bottom of the home page at 211ct.org or directly by clicking HERE.