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

Use 2-1-1 to Find Resources During the Holiday Season
There are a number of programs and organizations throughout the state working to make the holidays a happy time for families in need throughout Connecticut. Whether food, gifts, or holiday meals, 2-1-1 has the most up-to-date information about the holiday assistance available. Visit or call 2-1-1 for information on resources and services being offered across the state.
The 2-1-1 website currently lists more than 60 locations for meals this Thanksgiving. Follow this link, call 2-1-1 or visit the and search, "Thanksgiving Meals" to find information on Thanksgiving meals being offered in your area.
AccessHealthCT Open Enrollment
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 began on November 1st  and will continue until December 22, 2017. If you are ready to enroll click here.

Free, in-person help from enrollment specialist and certified brokers is currently available. for a list of locations, click here. To learn more visit
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 or directly by clicking here.