Stretch Your Dollar: Ways to save money as heating costs are expected to rise

Stretch Your Dollar

(WTNH) – You’ve heard prices are going up in stores and you should expect the holidays to cost you more. It turns out the same goes at home.

We are stretching your dollar with how high heating costs are expected to go. Many families are dealing with high electricity bills amid the pandemic, more cooking, laundry, heating, and electricity.

Even as they work to lower their electricity consumption, the cost to heat their home is going up. The National Energy Assistant Directors Association is predicting gas bills in the U.S. could rise up to 30 percent this winter.

Going forward this year, there are no signs of these prices coming down.

A family is paying roughly $2,300 at the start of 2020, but this year it could go up $700 in the same time period. So, beyond putting on a sweater and lowering the thermostat, here are some saving strategies.

A smart thermostat like the Nest lets you program in lower temps at specific times using your smart phone. The company estimates it saves users 10 to 12 percent on heating costs each year.

Now, Amazing is getting in the game with its Alexa compatible thermostat, which will be on the market in November. A simpler fix, the U.S. Energy Department says swapping out an old dirty filter on your furnace can save between five and 15 percent on your heating bill.

Finally, the Natural Gas Association says if people have trouble paying their natural gas bills, there are programs that can help.

The low income home energy assistance program is the federal assistance program that helps people pay their energy bills if they don’t have the ability to do so, but it’s not just for poor people. A family can make $40,000 a year and still qualify.

Remember to check in with companies doing free energy audits this time of year to get a head start on changes you may need to make to save.

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