National Grid’s winter forecast calls for its upstate New York customers to see natural gas and electricity bills that are lower than last year, assuming a typical winter.
The lower bills are based on expected decreases in wholesale supply prices during the Nov. 1 through March 31 winter heating season, according to a news release from the utility.
The company forecasts total residential natural gas bills from Nov. 1 through March 31 to be about $507, or about $31 (5.8 percent) less than the typical upstate winter.
Compared to last winter, National Grid is forecasting total monthly residential electricity bills to be approximately $6 to $8 lower (6.9 to 8.8 percent) this winter heating season, depending on geographic region, based on average monthly use of 600 kilowatt-hours, according to the news release.
Because energy costs and usage are impacted by weather conditions, the company stressed that forecasted figures are approximate. In addition to weather, factors that determine actual costs are wholesale energy supply prices and energy consumption, both of which can be impacted by unusually cold or warm temperatures.
National Grid provides a long list of tips on its energy efficiency webpage, including:
- Replace five incandescent lights with Energy Star light bulbs and save $9 a month.
- Turn off lights, appliances, TVs, stereos and computers when not in use and save about $9 a month.
- Unplug your electric space heater or hot tub and save $41 a month.
- Recycle your second, older refrigerator and you can save $23 a month.
- Wash your clothes in cold water and save $9 per month.
- Repair leaky faucets and save $6 per month.
- Unplug electronics with remote control or “instant on” features and save $4 a month. An advanced power strip will do the work for you.
- Install a programmable thermostat that lowers the setting at night and when no one is home, and save $15 a month.
- Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors to keep warm air in and save $13 a month.
- When buying new appliances, always choose Energy Star and save $11 to $24 a month for the life of the appliance.