CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — You will likely pay more to heat your home this winter.
“National Grid expects that electric bills in Central New York will be about five percent higher than they were last winter,” explained Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid’s Regional Director of Customer and Community Engagement. “That means the typical electric customer will spend about $22 more this winter.”
Residential natural gas is expected to be 39 percent higher. Last year Bianchetti said customers paid $680 on average.
“The average user in a typical winter for this year the same amount of energy is forecasted to about $943,” Bianchetti explained.
The increase is attributed to a number of factors.
“The war in Ukraine, energy constraints in Europe, the Global inflation and supply chain crisis together they have fueled price increases in every sector of the world economy,” Bianchetti explained.
Although the increase is tough to hear, there are a number of steps you can take at home.
“For every one degree that you roll back your thermostat, you can expect to save about one to three percent on your annual energy bill,” explained Thomas Baron, National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Manager.
Another way to reserve energy is to unplug your charger from the wall once you’re done charging your phone or other devices.
“That’s a little bit of energy that’s still going out that charger that’s not connected to a device,” Baron explained. “So get rid of phantom load save like 10-percent on electricity across the year depending on how many devices or kids are in the home I should say.”
You can also contact National Grid if you need further help to pay your bill since they have advocates.
“We actually assess a person’s situation, the amount of money that is owed on their bill and then we align them with various programs in the local communities and for the state programs,” explained Mary Beth Basha, a National Grid Senior Consumer Advocate. The number to call is (800) 642-4272.
Beyond saving money, to keep your family safe and prevent fires, you can clear debris from your heating units and make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors.
Heating Savings Tips from National Grid:
- Turn down the thermostat every time you leave the house for two hours or more, and each night before you go to bed. It takes less energy to warm up a cool house than to maintain a warm temperature all day and night.
- Consider a smart thermostat as an inexpensive, easy way to maintain comfort and cut heating costs. When used properly, a smart thermostat can save 10% on heating and cooling costs annually.
- Insulate the attic, walls, ceilings, and floors to prevent heat from escaping.
- Take advantage of the sun: Open drapes during the day to capture the warmth and close them at night to prevent heat loss through windows.
- Seal holes and cracks where cold air can get in, especially in the attic and basement. Reducing drafts in a home may save 15% in heating and cooling costs annually.
- Remove window air conditioning units during the cold months to reduce drafts. If this is not possible, cover the inside and outside of the units.
- If you’re looking to replace an appliance, choose one that is ENERGY STAR® certified and save anywhere from 10% to 50% in energy costs. For example, replacing a refrigerator that is older than 15 years with an ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator can save up to $1,000 over the lifetime of the unit.