Home heating bills to rise up to 5 percent
HOUSTON — Rising natural gas prices will boost home heating bills for Houston area residents by up to 5 percent in February, according to data from CenterPoint Energy.
The Houston-based electricity distributor, which also provides natural gas to 1.2 million Houston area homes, said the average natural gas bill received in February will go up between $2 and $2.50 because of rising commodity prices.
The average Houston natural gas bill is currently between $55 and $70, depending on usage, CenterPoint spokeswoman Alicia Dixon said.
Heating: Cold weather among factors pushing up natural gas bills
Natural gas prices surpassed $5 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday, reaching the mark for the first time since 2010.
Heavy usage of natural gas nationwide has pushed up prices for the commodity. That means that residents who might have used the same amount of gas in recent months will pay more in February for their bills because of the higher resource prices.
Also on FuelFix:
10 ways to slim your power bill this winter
Sealing air leaks with caulking and weather-stripping around windows helps keep out unwanted cold air.
Ceiling fans set at a slow speed with the blades angled down push warm air down from ceilings.
John Carl D'Annibale / Albany Times Union
Set your thermostat to 70 degrees or less, and several degrees cooler overnight. Lowering the thermostat by as little as one degree typically reduces heating bills by 5 to 6 percent.
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Turn computers and monitors off when not in use. Leaving computers on all the time can cost more than $100 per year on electricity.
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Closing heating vents in an unoccupied room can save as much as 10 percent on heating costs.
Tom Reel / San Antonio Express-News
Shut the door or try to minimize the number of times that doors to the outside are opened and closed. Each time doors are opened, cold air enters the house.
Kenmore / Associated Press
Air dry dishes instead of using dishwasher's drying heater.
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Don't let heat go up the chimney. Make sure the fireplace flue is closed when not in use.
Make sure that walls and the attic are properly insulated. Adding fiberglass insulation in the attic is one of the most cost-effective savings measures.
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Wrapping water heaters with an insulated blanket can save $20 annually for a gas heater and $50 annually on an electric heater.