Post Content

 

womanupsetatmonthlystatement

In case you were unaware, it gets pretty cold in Massachusetts!  As the temperatures fall, your gas and electricity bills are sure to rise.

If you are concerned about your electricity bill, because you think it is incorrect or may not be able to make the payment, here are a few things you should consider.

Estimate v. Actual

The first thing you should do when you get an electric bill is making sure it is representative of an actual reading and not of an estimate. If it is an estimate, you can get an actual reading from your provider which will update the account.

Efficiency Programs

Utility companies offer energy efficient programs that usually result in lower payments. Eversource has an Energy Savings Plan and a number of financial assistance programs for customers in Eastern Massachusetts. It offers a planning mechanism to help understand your energy usage and how you can reduce it. The financial assistance programs help customers find alternative methods to pay their monthly bills.

National Grid offers similar programs for their Massachusetts customers. They offer payment assistance programs, budget billing, and more time to pay options as well as no cost energy kits to control usage.

Mass Save is a rate payer-funded program that offers rebates and income eligible discount rates. They also offer free home energy assessments online that give a good indication of energy usage and potential savings.

Department of Public Utilities

The DPU website recommends that issues with an electric company first be taken up with them. After that, they offer resources to file a complaint. They also offer a consumer information page which answers frequently asked questions about payments, discounts, and financial assistance.

If you are not a homeowner, there are different rights and remedies that you are entitled to as a tenant regarding utilities. The State Sanitary Code mandates certain provisions regarding heat and water, for example, that landlords must abide by. If the heat in your apartment isn’t working or isn’t warm enough, notify your local Board of Health.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Massachusetts Lemon Law Rights Adjusted Following State-Wide Vehicle Inspection Station Outage posted on Apr 28

Massachusetts Lemon Law Rights Adjusted Following State-Wide Vehicle Inspection Station Outage

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ (RMV) vehicle inspection stations are back online after a state-wide outage from March 30, 2021 to April 17, 2021, caused by a malware attack. Affected consumers who were unable to access inspection resources during the outage are now eligible   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Lemon Law Rights Adjusted Following State-Wide Vehicle Inspection Station Outage

Financial Literacy Month 2021 posted on Apr 15

Financial Literacy Month 2021

Balancing a checkbook, making sure your expenses can be covered with your income, and saving for a rainy day emergency are all examples of financial literacy, or the ability to understand and effectively manage your personal finances. April is National Financial Literacy Month, a time   …Continue Reading Financial Literacy Month 2021

Protect Yourself Against Scams this Tax Season posted on Mar 18

Protect Yourself Against Scams this Tax Season

Tax Day is quickly approaching, and this year more Americans are planning on filing their taxes online, according to McAfee’s 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report. Filing taxes electronically is a more convenient and efficient process but may open you up to scammers hoping to steal   …Continue Reading Protect Yourself Against Scams this Tax Season