CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – As temperatures continue to drop and consumers turn on the heat in their homes, the rising costs of heating and electricity can be expected this winter.
Pennsylvanians can expect to see higher heating bills as the costs of natural gas supply rise from 11, to 77%. But if your home isn’t prepped you could end up paying even more. The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate seeks to educate consumers, including our seniors, on how to protect themselves.
You can do many measures at home to weatherize your home, for little to no cost. These tips for weatherproofing doors and windows include installing door sweeps and covering any cracks around them. A little can go a long way in helping to keep the heat in, and the cold air out.
“A small crack around the window or door can be the equivalent to a very large size hole. With the wind blowing, it’s amazing how much air will come through a tiny tiny crack,” said Steve Songer, a sales representative with Gary & Sons Inc., a heating and HVAC contractor in Falls Creek.
There are some simple but effective ways to keep cold air out of your home and warm air in, such as installing door sweeps; Weatherproof doors and windows; Caulk cracks around doors and windows; Protect your electric hot water heater by using a heater cover; For more tips visit https://bit.ly/3EZSFIN.
The U.S. government projects spikes across all heating sources, including a projected 6% rise in electric, and more than 40% for those who use heating oil. Songer said a little care now though, could pay dividends.
“With temperatures already dropping below freezing in many parts of the state, no one should have to worry about how to stay warm this winter. Our Office of Consumer Advocate is raising awareness to consumers on how they can best prepare their homes for these increased heating costs and making sure they are aware of the assistance programs available to them,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
“You could see 30/40% savings just by sealing things up and making sure that house is tight. And keep that cold air out and keep that warm air in, Songer said.
There are also programs for Pennsylvanians who may need assistance with these bills. Including budget billing through your electric or gas companies. Low and fixed-income customers can also enroll in a low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP) which assists those customers with paying their bills.
By enrolling in budget billing, you can help even out seasonal increases by spreading costs throughout the year. Your monthly payment will be based on your annual usage. Contact your electric and natural gas companies for more information.
The LIHEAP grant program is designed to assist low and fixed-income customers pay their heating bills. Grants can range anywhere from $500-$1,500 based on household size, income, and heating type. For qualification and application information, visit https://bit.ly/3kcaVXc.
You can also contact your utility company to check for eligibility assistance programs. Some utilities have customer assistance programs, usage reduction programs and hardships programs run by community organizations.
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