When you live with the thermostat gestapo (my wife) and you see a headline like this, one can only cringe at what's to come during the coming year, because all of our electric bills will be going up.

So much for going green and trying to keep that electric bill down. Customers of Eversource and United Illuminating will be paying a lot more for electric come January 2019. It looks like standard service rates will increase a whopping 19% for Eversource customers and 24-percent for United Illuminating customers. Here's the official breakdown: For the average Eversourse customer, you can expect to pay an extra $12 per month. If you're a customer of United Illuminating, you'll pay an extra $16 per month. Eversourse and United Illuminating are giving the gift of a massive rate hike this holiday season, so as the weather gets colder and temperatures drop, your electric rates will be rising.

There is actually a bit of a silver lining in this dark cloud. Did you know that if you're an electrical consumer in Connecticut, you're not stuck with just these two options.

According to WTNH, you can actually compare rates and shop for energy suppliers. Just go to the Energize Connecticut website, but you're going to have to do some research. Many of these companies hit you with monthly fees or enrollment and cancellation charges that can effect your bill. You can actually wind up paying more if you're not careful and read all the fine print.

Here are some simple things you can do to help reduce your energy costs:

  • Set your thermostat 10 degrees cooler when you're not at home or when you're sleeping.
  • Use programmable thermostats, which could cut your cost by about 10%.
  • Use curtains on windows to keep heat in.

It's also the season for scammers, and now, especially since these rate hikes have been announced, watch for suspicious calls claiming they can save you money and ask for your personnel information or calls that claim your heat and electric will be turned off.