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Thursday, December 13, 2018

LIHEAP & Tips to Help with Electric and Heating Bills

Man sitting in home with no heat

With cold weather bearing down, we do what we can to stay warm—we turn up the thermostat, pile on blankets, pump the hot water. This can get expensive. To make things worse, as it gets colder outside, it also gets darker. So, we turn on the lights earlier than we’d like, and slowly but surely our electric and heating bills skyrocket. If you need help with your utility bills this winter, or you simply don’t want to pay a fortune on them, there are a few things that you can do to help with electric and heating bills.
If you need help with electric and heating bills, you’ll definitely want to look into the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program helps keep families safe and healthy with initiatives that assist families with their energy costs. They also help with bill payment and energy crisis assistance, weatherization, and energy-related home repairs. Look here, to see the annual household income that you need to have in order to qualify. There are even some utility companies that provide direct financial assistance or referrals!

While the LIHEAP is incredibly helpful, there are also some things you can do yourself to save money on your electric and heating bills this winter.

• Investigate for Gaps
It’s going to take a little bit of time, but you should search your home for any gaps where heat can escape. Check doors and windows to see if cold air is getting through. If you feel a draft, stuff the cracks with a rolled-up towel or some toilet paper. You can also purchase draft stoppers.

• Cover Windows
Cover your windows with blinds and curtains at night to help reduce heat loss. This will also stop cold air from entering your home. During the day, let the sunlight stream in to naturally warm the house.

• Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
This will save you loads of money in the long run. If you can’t invest in a programmable thermostat, manually turn your thermostat down a few degrees at night to save money. You can also turn your thermostat down when you’re not at home. One of the nice things about programmable thermostats is that they can automatically make these adjustments for you - even when you’re not at home - which will help you stay warm and reduce your utility bills.

• Insulate Your Water Heater
According to Bounce Energy, this can reduce water heating costs by 4–9%. There are water heater blankets just for this purpose!