Anticipated cold weather combined with an increased demand for natural gas means you may see a spike in your energy bills over the next five months. Supply chain issues combined with Europe's energy crisis have caused the price of natural gas to reach a nationwide 14-year high, increasing by more than 60% in the past year. Most residents will start seeing an increase in their bills starting in November.
Exact estimates differ between natural gas providers. Delmarva Power, which services 138,000 natural gas customers and 425,000 additional electric and gas customers in Delaware, estimates that the average residential customer will see a total monthly increase of just under $10. Chesapeake Utilities. representing around 100,000 natural gas customers in the Delmarva service territory, estimate an increase of just over $13for an average residential customer. However, The Delaware Public Service Commission and Delaware Public Advocate estimate that prices could increase as much as $25 per month.
Energy bills are dependent on usage, so understanding what methods will save is important going into the heating season (November - March).
Turning down the thermostat by a degree or two can save a significant amount of money over time.
Keeping your water heater at 120 degrees ( or lower) can save 10% or more.
Raise or open your blinds to let sunlight into your home.
Make sure your home is properly insulated.
With the cost of living increasing, there is some concern that customers won't be able to live comfortably and won't be able to pay their bills on time this winter. According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, over 20 million Americans are already behind on their energy bills. A recent survey using data from the US senate Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey found that around 13% of Delawareans were unable to pay their energy bill at least once within the past 12 months. and 20% of respondents said that they reduced or went without basic expenses such as food or medicine in the last year to pay an energy bill.
If you run into problems paying your bills this winter. the first thing to do is contact your utility company to work out a payment plan to ensure that you're able to live safely without breaking the bank. Also apply to the Low-income Housing Energy Assistance Program, which just received a $1 billion infusion from the federal government.