A Message from Richard Porth         
President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut  

As temperatures drop, home heating 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.
The 2-1-1 Connecticut database includes a number of programs and services that are available to help with utility and energy costs. Please visit the Utility Assistance page on the 2-1-1 website and check out our recently recorded Utility Assistance Resources Webinar

2-1-1 CT also maintains a number of eLibrary papers regarding Energy Assistant. Click here to learn more.

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, 2020, AHCT open enrollment begins November 1st and will continue until December 22, 2019. 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.
New ALICE Saves Employer Toolkit 
Savings is a core component of financial health.  ALICE Saves is an initiative designed to help families achieve a more secure financial future by providing a way for families to save for short-term emergencies and long-term assets, such as a college education or a home. ALICE Saves combines SaverLife, a proven savings product from the nonprofit EARN, and Trusted Advisor, a financial counseling program operated by Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners.

To help employers introduce the ALICE Saves program to their employees, Connecticut United Ways have created an ALICE Saves Employer Toolkit. This toolkit is the place to go for information about ALICE Saves; it includes PowerPoint presentations, promotional flyers, and other materials that will help connect employees to ALICE Saves. 

Click HERE to learn more about the ALICE Saves Employee Toolkit and visit ctalicesaves.org to sign up for ALICE Saves. 

Stay Healthy During Flu Season
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine by the end of October. The flu vaccine is the most important step in protecting against the flu. 

Other everyday preventative actions include avoiding close contact with sick people, frequently washing your hands (especially before eating) and disinfecting any surface or objects that may be contaminated.
If you have not received your annual flu shot use the Healthmap Vaccine Finder to find a list of locations administering the flu vaccine near you.

For more information on how to prevent the seasonal flu visit CDC's Influenza Page or check out 2-1-1's  Seasonal Flu Vaccination eLibary Paper.