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Slightly higher energy bills forecasted for this winter
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – As the beginning of winter approaches it’s a good time to prepare your home for the heating season and National Grid offers easy tips to stay warm while saving money on its Ways to Save web page.
“We remind customers to use energy wisely and take advantage of our various energy efficiency programs,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president. “Simple steps taken now - like changing furnace filters, increasing insulation, sealing windows and doors - can help control energy costs this winter and all year round.”
The company forecast calls for NYC Metro customers to see natural gas bills that are slightly higher, assuming a typical winter, due to higher delivery rates. The forecast has been partly offset by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Based on a typical usage of 720 therms for a five-month heating season (November to March), National Grid residential gas customers are forecasted to pay about $925 this winter heating season, or an increase of $19 (2.1 %).
Because energy costs and usage are impacted by weather conditions, the company reminds customers that forecasted figures are approximate. In addition to weather, factors that determine actual costs are wholesale energy supply prices and energy consumption, both of which can be dramatically impacted by severely cold or unusually warm temperatures.
National Grid manages the energy supply portfolio purchased on behalf of customers by using a variety of natural gas hedging strategies to help offset market price volatility. These strategies include balancing long-term and short-term supply contracts and purchasing natural gas in the summer, when it is less expensive, and storing it for winter use. Customers, who purchase their energy supply from an energy services company, or ESCO, will pay supply prices agreed to in their contract with that supplier.
Energy bills are a combination of supply prices and delivery prices, which are set by the market and regulation.
Managing bills through energy efficiency
National Grid provides a long list of easy-to-implement energy efficiency tips on its website. The company also offers winter safety tips, including carbon monoxide precautions. In addition, the National Grid Marketplace is a one-stop shop for energy efficient products, and site visitors can learn about rebates on Wi-Fi thermostats, lighting, water saving products, and more.
National Grid also provides various billing options for customers who may have difficulty paying their bills, including Balanced Billing that spreads payments out more evenly throughout a year.
Households receiving public assistance, supplemental security income, food stamps or other public assistance or the elderly may qualify for the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) which provides financial aid to income-eligible participants. Click here to find more information about HEAP and National Grid’s own Energy Affordability Program.