"Several factors point towards utility bill shock for those who use natural gas for almost any purpose," he said. "Weather impacts on production and transport facilities, increased demand for electric generation and other purposes, and the unknown severity of winter weather all combine to set the stage for staggering increases."
Reducing energy consumption in the home can help homeowners and, in some cases, apartment dwellers, hold down utility bills, said Snead, who offered these cost-saving tips:
Lowering the setting on the thermostat a few degrees, from 72 to 68 degrees F also can result in a cost savings.
Water heaters can last 10 to 15 years, but may become clogged with sediment that interferes with the heat transfer and increases operating costs. Draining as little as a quart of water from the water heater every three months can reduce the build-up. If, however, a hot water heater is seven to 10 years old, consider replacing it with a new, more energy efficient model.
Installing blanket-style insulation on a water heater can further trim costs generally. One caution: Follow manufacturer's instructions for installation.
More information on energy conservation in the home is available at local and district Extension offices and the Energy Extension link library: www.engext.ksu.edu/ees/henergy/linklibrary.html.
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