Coping with high heating bills
Energy information meeting in Pinedale Oct. 12
October 10, 2005
Many Wyoming residents will see a big increase in their electric and natural gas heating bills over the winter, according to the state Public Service Commission (PSC). Natural gas and electric bills could increase from 25-55% this winter.
To help residents learn more about rate hikes and available assistance, the PSC and the state Department of Family Services will hold a series of meetings at senior centers around the state.
The meeting in Pinedale will be held on Wednesday, October 12, at Rendezvous Pointe Senior Center at 11:30 am. The meetings are intended to help residents better understand what is happening in the wholesale markets, which utility companies cannot control.
Part of the increase is due to recent hurricanes in the southeast that impacted a substantial portion of the U.S. supply of natural gas. The storms shut off 80% of the natural gas production along the Gulf Coast, causing natural gas futures to skyrocket. Utility companies pass on increased costs directly to consumers. The good news is that despite the tight market, supplies are expected to be adequate to meet heating needs in Wyoming this winter.
During the community meetings, residents will learn how prices are set as well as receive information on several programs that provide relief to low-income residents. Meetings are scheduled this week for senior centers at Cheyenne, Powell, Casper, Laramie, Cody, Douglas, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Pinedale and Riverton.
Tips to Conserve Energy:
Turn down your thermostat
Close off rooms that are not in use
Use solar heat by opening curtains and drapes when the sun is shining
Lower the temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees
Refrain from using hot water to wash clothes when possible
Close the damper on the fireplace when not in use
Replace/clean your furnace filter
Replace old appliances like water heaters and furnaces
Get a home energy audit that points out ways to make your home more efficient
Department of Energy-Energy Information Administration
Whats up with Natural Gas Prices?