Monday, August 8, 2022

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The annual Kids Count report highlights the well-being of America's children, Pennsylvania groups call for reproductive rights, and Minnesota's electric vehicle infrastructure is on verge of a growth spurt.

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Democrats seal the deal on the Inflation Reduction Act after a weekend session, New York City's Mayor condemns the Texas governor's immigrant busing initiative, and Elon Musk calls for a debate on Twitter bots.

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People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

Granite Staters Face Energy-Cost Woes: Help Is Out There

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022   

As New Hampshire faces another week of hot, humid temperatures, its residents also are bracing for a dramatic spike in energy bills.

As a result of the cost tripling for natural gas used to generate electricity, many customers will see their power bills double starting this month. Patrick McDermott, volunteer vice president of AARP New Hampshire's executive council, said it's going to make it harder on everyone's pocketbooks, especially those with fixed incomes or who are age 50 or older.

"Unfortunately, it piles on everything else that's going on, with inflation and costs that are going up for food," he said. "It's going to be very difficult for many people who are already having problems keeping up with their costs and buying the things that they need."

McDermott encouraged people to take advantage of the many rate and program options that can help them save, including budget billing and deferred payment plans through local utility companies. Applying for Critical Care or Chronic Condition Status can help customers with certain medical conditions keep their power on if they can't afford to pay. New Hampshire Energy Relief Programs also provide relief to qualifying ratepayers.

McDermott added that increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption also can help households better manage rising costs.

"The cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one that isn't used," he said. "So turn lights off, turn off unnecessary appliances, take shorter showers, wash laundry in cold water - things that are pretty much common sense, but it's good to remind people."

Weatherization measures such as caulking doors and windows, installing weatherstripping, and getting checkups for cooling and heating systems can help control a home's inside temperature. The New Hampshire Weatherization Assistance Program can help low-income residents with some of those improvements.

Disclosure: AARP New Hampshire contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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