Gov. Timothy M. Kaine Tuesday encouraged citizens to take energy conservation measures to help minimize the impacts of projected increases in winter heating costs.
Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration released its outlook on fuel prices for the coming winter.
The forecast for this coming winter’s weather indicates a cooler, wetter winter season for most of Virginia. The EIA estimates that winter fuel bills in the Mid-Atlantic area of the nation, which includes Virginia, will increase by 11 to 30 percent, or $150 to $450, for the heating season depending on the type of fuel used.
“People should take energy conservation actions now to reduce their electric and other fuel bills, save valuable natural resources, and save money too,” says Kaine. “Take advantage of this week’s Energy Star sales tax holiday if you are in the market for new appliances to save even more money in both the purchase of the product and its energy efficient long-term use of electricity.”
Consumers can help offset energy price increases by taking a variety of energy conservation actions now to help ease the burden of higher costs. Many utility companies and other energy providers offer level monthly payment plans to consumers to even out their energy costs and to allow better family budget planning for energy costs.
Other measures that consumers can take include making sure that leaks are sealed in their homes, air heating/cooling filters are replaced frequently, and heating/cooling equipment is properly maintained.
For other ideas on conserving energy, go to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy webpage and click on “Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill Today” and the “Virginia Energy Savers Handbook.”
Assistance paying energy bills may be available through the Virginia Department of Social Services. A list of local DSS offices is available online.