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Cutting Costs: Lower Your Energy Bills

With energy prices nearing record levels and rising, now is the time to save money by cutting your utility bills. These costs are sometimes considered uncontrollable expenses but electricity, heating, cooling and water bills can all be reduced.

In today's deregulated environment, managing these expenses is more important than ever. Since Connecticut implemented energy deregulation, Connecticut businesses can choose the best price or contract from competing power providers. Meanwhile, providers contend that finding billing errors is the responsibility of the customer. But most companies don't have the knowledge, experience or data to challenge their bills.

Get to know what you are being charged for - rates, tariffs, taxes, fees, surcharges and demand charges. Inspect meters and verify meters against bills. Go over previous bills to see if the charges are consistent so you can recover past overcharges.

A competitive market is not the only place to save. Even in regulated markets, suppliers offer a variety of rates.

Most default rates are set for a specific period of time. You can lower your electric bill by finding out how long the default rate lasts and then finding another provider who will offer a lower rate. Locking in a low electric rate if you think energy prices are going to go up might be a good strategy.

One Connecticut manufacturer lowered its utilities by 22 percent by educating themselves about the market. The more you know about the utility industry, the better you can control costs.

Deena Kaye is a director in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island with Expense Reduction Analysts, a worldwide network of consultants specializing in finding extra profits by reducing expenses in non-core categories. She can be reached at 800-656-7270, ext. 136; 203-550-2094 (cell); or .

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