Gas Rates Going Up

By: Tim Saunders
By: Tim Saunders

If you use natural gas in your home, your rates may soon be going up.

Columbia Gas is announcing an increase of about $20 per month for the average residential customer.

What does this mean for you? Columbia says the average customer spent about $700 on gas between November and March of last year. This year that bill will be around $800.

Columbia says the changes will show up on all bills mailed after November 29.

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Energy Saving Tips

Insulation

  • Check the insulation in the attic, ceilings, basement walls and crawl spaces to see if it meets the levels recommended for your area.

  • Insulation is measured in "R" values -- the higher the "R" value, the better your walls and roofs will resist the transfer of heat.

  • Check to see what your insulation needs are in your area here

  • Insulation usually comes in four types:

    • 1.) Batts: Usually made of fiber glass or rock wool. Made to fit between the studs in your walls or between the joists of your ceilings or floors.
    • 2.) Rolls: Made of fiber glass and can be laid over the floor in the attic.
    • 3.) Loose-fill: Made of fiber glass, rock wool or cellulose, is blown into the attic or walls. Cellulose is usually made from recycled newsprint treated with fire-retardant chemicals.
    • 4.) Rigid foam boards are made of polyisocyanurate, extruded polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene. These boards are lightweight, provide structural support, and generally have an "R" value of four to seven per inch. This is made to be used in confined spaces such as exterior walls, basements, foundation and stem walls, concrete slabs and cathedral ceilings.

    Heating Systems

    • Your home's duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings, carries the air from your home's furnace and central air conditioner to each room.

    • Unfortunately, many duct systems are poorly insulated or not insulated properly.

    • Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawl space.

    • Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.

    • If you use duct tape to repair and seal your ducts, look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo to avoid tape that degrades, cracks, and loses its bond with age.

    • Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are uninsulated, consider insulating both.

    • Get a professional to help you insulate and repair all ducts.

    Programmable Thermostats

    • You can save as much as 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10 percent to 15 percent for eight hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

    • you don't operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house or part of the house is not occupied.

    Source: www.eren.doe.gov contributed to this report.


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