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Squeezed by high energy costs? Here’s how to save

By April S. Lollar

We’ve all become used to seeing increased costs for groceries and other goods and services. Unfortunately, the energy industry has not escaped rising costs, which means higher bills for consumers in the coming months. Not only are costs for power generation rising, so are the costs of materials that help deliver power to your homes and businesses, like transformers, poles and wire. While your energy service provider likely is taking measures to mitigate cost increases, there are many things consumers can do to help lower their bill.

Your electric utility’s website is a good place to start. You can access your account to learn more about your energy use patterns and see if there are areas where you can invest in energy-efficient upgrades. Most utilities offer virtual energy audits and other interactive tools, as well as low- and no-cost tips to reduce your use. Many also offer rebates and incentives for upgrades to items like your HVAC system and water heaters.

You should also research your electric providers’ rate and payment options to see if you are on a rate that offers you the biggest cost savings. If you still have questions, call your provider and ask to speak with someone about energy efficiency. Most utilities have teams of experts who provide advice, guidance and free services like in-home energy audits. Your local utility typically will have some sort of assistance program for consumers who need help withtheir energy bills, too.

Energy efficiency experts at your utility also can give you an honest assessment when it comes to renewable energy resources like solar panels. Renewable energy sources are a focus for the energy industry on a large scale and, while there are reputable companies selling solar, there are also those that make misleading claims about the effectiveness and costs of solar panels. Before you make any major financial decisions, make sure to speak to a trusted source at your local utility.

In 2023, there are new tax credits for making energy efficient upgrades to your home. For information, visit The site will take you through the latest tax credits and allow you to sign up for updates about any new credits or rebates.

Remember, the best way to save is to manage your energy use. Learning about your energy use and taking low- or no-cost actions like adjusting your thermostat setting or sealing cracks that are letting air in your home are a great first step. While you may be able to receive incentives from your utility or tax credits for bigger upgrades, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to start saving.

April S. Lollar, APR, CCC, is director of communications at Coast Electric and Coast- Connect. Reach her at

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