Customer Focus / Featured

Why is my bill so high?

Why is my bill so high?

The winter heating season is now in full swing. As temperatures drop and gas prices increase, our level of commitment to provide superior service continues.

As a nation, our daily lives have been impacted due to a global pandemic that has also increased the demand for natural gas, which affects supply and ultimately cost. As a regulated utility, we do not profit from the sale of natural gas; the price we pay for gas is passed on to our customers without markup.

We understand that the increasing market price for natural gas is higher than those historically, which is why we continue to offer multiple ways to support our customers now and into the future. This year, we are extremely focused on customer education to ensure awareness of available resources. Energy saving tips, energy assistance programs and services are just a few ways we can help.

Five ways to save this winter

Here are five tips to help prepare your home for winter weather and save on energy costs:

Take control of your energy costs at the thermostat.

Set your thermostat to 68°F when you are home and awake. While you’re asleep or away, try dropping the setting by a few degrees. You’ll enjoy a 3% to 4% decrease in energy use for every degree you lower your thermostat setting below 68 during the winter season.

Consider installing a smart programmable thermostat. When used properly, it can automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings throughout the day and evening.

Let the sun’s heat naturally warm your home.

During the day, open your drapes or curtains on the sunny side of your house, while keeping them closed on the other sides. At night, close all your drapes or curtains to keep your home’s warmth from escaping and lessen the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Set your water heater’s temperature to 120° and place an insulation wrap around the sides. (But remember: never put insulation on the top of the heater or near the bottom.)

A water heater set to 120°F can save you 6% to 10% each year on your hot water heating costs. For extra savings, try lowering the temperature to 110°F (comfortable showering and hand washing temperature) and take shorter showers. Don’t worry, your dishwasher heats the water to 130-140°F to sanitize and clean your dishes thoroughly.

Check your water use regularly to make sure there are no costly leaks.

Help your heating system operate at peak performance.

Keep registers clear of all obstructions. Move furniture, carpeting or drapes that are blocking the warm air flow.

Check all windows and doors for drafts.

Winter drafts are caused when a home’s warmer air leaks out and gets quickly replaced by the colder outside air rushing in. This makes heating your home much less efficient. Carefully caulk or use sealant to insulate areas where you feel drafts. Add weather-stripping around doors and windows to stop warm air from escaping your home. If you notice any cracked caulking or worn weather stripping, replace it with new material.

Close doors to extra rooms you don’t frequently use, or non-heated spaces like closets, walk-in food pantries, and storage areas. In spare or seldom used rooms, close off the heating vents.

Take comfort in the fact that anything you do to keep the warm air in and the cold air out of your home, while reducing your energy use, will save you some money.

All suggested degree settings are Fahrenheit.