Are there steps that consumers can take to guard against winter price increases this year or to help lower their energy bill in general?
While the factors that contribute to higher fuel prices cannot be controlled by propane retailers or consumers, there are some simple steps customers can take to lower their energy bill year-round.
The industry encourages homeowners to save on energy costs by following this three-step energy plan:
- Explore fuel payment plan options to spread your projected annual costs over many months, balancing the costs of seasonally higher bills. Many propane companies offer a “fixed-price” option, and can “lock-in” a price.
- Set up a regular delivery schedule with Northwest Propane. Consider filling your tank before the start of the heating season rather than waiting until it is empty.
- Protect against drafts by caulking and weather-stripping around windows, doors, and other openings such as ducts, fans, and vents.
Inspect and tune-up your residential heating system regularly for efficiency. Contact Northwest Propane to inquire about a home heating system inspection. A properly working heating system is more efficient and will save you money.
- Change your furnace filter monthly. Clean filters will help your heating system work more efficiently. If on a monthly payment plan, use receipt of your propane bill as a reminder.
- Invest in a furnace thermostat timer that can save money by lowering your home’s temperature when you are not at home. You can cut annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent per year by turning your thermostat back 10-15 percent for eight hours per day.
- Switch to a propane water heater, which provides significant energy efficiency over an electric water heater. Over time, propane water heaters can cost one-third less to operate and recover hot water twice as quickly as electric water heaters.
- When using a water heater, turn it down from the standard 140 degrees to 130 degrees. You could save more than 10 percent on your water-heating bill.
- Increase your water heater’s efficiency by draining it every six months to remove lime deposits and sediment.
- Install flow-restricting showerheads. You can reduce hot water usage by up to 50 percent without affecting shower pressure.
- Run washing machines, and clothes dryers, with a full load.
- Close vents and doors in unused rooms. Make sure your attic and basement are properly insulated.
Customers can also lower their overall energy bills by making a few small changes in the home: