Company offers energy saving tips to help customers prepare for colder weather
HICKSVILLE, N.Y. – National Grid’s winter heating season forecast calls for Long Island customers to see natural gas bills that are slightly lower, assuming a typical winter.
“Even with a forecast of lower bills, 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.”
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 $880 this winter heating season, or a decrease of $8 (-.1 %) less than last year.
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 Ways to Save web page. The company’s website 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 the Budget Plan 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.