SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Some families are being hit twice as hard working from home using appliances and heating their homes with electricity.
In tonight's Funding Your Family, we’re getting answers from Eversource on what they're doing to help families during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We're all spending more time at home, using power and electricity while social distancing.
“We're probably running more loads of laundry, we're running the dishwasher,” said Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress.
The cost is adding up. Ress said via Facetime with Western Mass News that while commercial use is down, residential use has increased.
“We are not shutting customers off, we are not making disconnections,” Ress explained.
Gov. Baker ordered utility companies in Massachusetts not to shut off electric, gas, or water for people who fail to pay their bills, but Eversource is offering additional help to their customers dealing with the financial crisis
“We are also eliminating late payment charges now,” Ress noted.
The energy company also offering flexibility payment plans - something Ress urges customers to inquire about
“There's a list of programs things you may have not have been eligible for before or thought about before,” Ress added.
Electric companies set their rates twice per year and Ress said the new rates will come out in July
“Down the road, do we see the prices could come down? Really hard to say,” Ress noted.
However, the stay-at-home advisory has taken its toll on the oil and gas industry with demand dropping across the country and Ress said that could play a role in pricing.
“Natural gas is one of the main fuels in New England we use to create electricity,” Ress said.
Ress reminds customers that they can also pick the rate they pay.
“Because we're deregulated, our customers can choose where they're going to buy their electricity,” Ress added.
To do so, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities site and see who is offering electricity at what cost
To see which programs you may qualify for or for additional help from Eversource, CLICK HERE.