PSC Warns Consumers: Heating costs to rise significantly
by Wyoming Public Service Commission
August 1, 2008
The Wyoming Public Service Commission warned natural gas customers today to expect heating bills to rise 50-70 percent this winter.
"Wholesale natural gas prices are expected to be the driver," PSC Chairman Kathleen A. "Cindy" Lewis said. "Cost projections by the utilities show major increases in the wholesale price for natural gas this coming winter. That means most people will have significantly larger heating bills this winter."
People are encouraged to prepare now for higher heating costs. "We may see some of the largest increases in natural gas prices in years," Deputy Chairman Steve Oxley said. "The good news is that we have ways of fighting back. Energy efficiency is the key."
Consumers can help reduce gas bills by:
- Installing energy-efficient appliances and replacing old furnaces;
- Cleaning or replacing furnace filters regularly;
- Caulking and weather stripping windows and doors;
- Closing vents in unused rooms, sealing leaks and adding insulation;
- Washing clothes in cold water, and,
- Lowering the thermostat 10-15 percent for eight hours a day could save as much as 10 percent a year on heating.
Replacing five light bulbs in with CFLs could cut lighting energy bills by half in the average-sized American home, according to the PSC. More information on energy efficiency is available on the PSC's Web site at http://psc.state.wy.us.
"The Commission vigilantly reviews commodity rate increase applications from utility companies to ensure these purchases are reasonable and utility companies won't be profiting on increased costs," Commissioner Mary Byrnes said.
The Wyoming Public Service Commission is the state's regulatory agency overseeing rate increases proposed by utility companies. The PSC is based in Cheyenne, and is comprised of three commissioners.