Citizens Energy Group warned Westfield residents that there would be an increase in natural gas heating bills for the November through March heating season.
Assuming temperatures are normal, Citizens estimates the total average natural gas bill for the five-month winter heating season will be $839, compared to approximately $500 last winter. A majority of the projected increase is the result of higher wholesale natural gas prices. Although natural gas prices are approximately double the level of last fall, Citizens is working to shield customers from the full impact of higher prices through a number of measures including price hedging contracts with natural gas suppliers. Citizens Energy Group also is awaiting approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for permission to offer natural gas storage service to other utilities such as Citizens Westfield. Providing Citizens Westfield contractual access to Citizens Energy Group’s gas storage assets could provide opportunities to reduce gas costs. Use of underground storage allows Citizens to purchase natural gas during periods of low demand when market prices are typically lower.
Citizens Energy Group provided a list of strategies customers can enact to reduce the cost of their utility bills. They are:
- Enrolling in the Budget Plan to help manage utility costs and spread payments over 12 months. To be eligible for the Budget Plan, customers are required to be current on their bill and have a good payment history. To inquire about eligibility or request a budget quote, visit citizensenergygroup.com or call 317-924-3311.
- Replace the furnace filter. Changing your furnace filter once a month helps your furnace work more efficiently.
- Lower the thermostat. A 10-degree reduction for an eight-hour period each day will reduce your heating bill 10 percent.
- Lower the water heater temperature: A 10-degree reduction in water temperature saves 5 percent on energy costs.