Other views: Drop in heating costs is welcomeAs the temperatures drop and days get shorter we struggle to see how long we can go without flipping the switch to turn on the furnace. Last winter included numerous days of below-zero temps and often it would have been a relief to toss the heating bill on the fire along with another log.
By: The Dickinson Press, The Jamestown Sun
As the temperatures drop and days get shorter we struggle to see how long we can go without flipping the switch to turn on the furnace.
Last winter included numerous days of below-zero temps and often it would have been a relief to toss the heating bill on the fire along with another log.
The good news for Montana-Dakota Utilities natural gas customers is they will pay about 12 percent less for natural gas to heat their homes this fall and winter compared to last year, according to a press release from the utility.
Let’s hope natural gas prices stay low and this 12-percent drop sticks.
The Associated Press also reports heating costs this winter will be cheaper for much of the country than they were a year ago, “thanks to a glut of natural gas and fuel oil and a recession that’s pushing down demand.”
No matter where the prices are at, some will struggle to pay. Montana-Dakota utilities offers energy saving tips and programs are also available to help those having trouble paying for the essential service with heating and insulation-related costs.
Stark County Social Services offers a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This year’s program started Thursday and runs through May 31. The program is income- and asset-based and those who qualify could have portions of their heating bills paid, said Marcy Decker, public assistance programs supervisor.
Don’t be modest, if you need it, use it. That’s what it is here for.
Social Services also works with other entities on a weatherization program and with assistance to clean furnaces and chimneys.
Applications are available at Social Services, located at 664 W. 12th St., Dickinson, or call 701-456-7675.
Before flipping the switch, it’s also a good time to have the furnace checked out. It may cost $50 to $100 or more now, but could save money in the long run through efficiency. It will help ensure the furnace is safe and that it won’t clunk out, leaving you freezing in the middle of January.
It’s also a good time to check that the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have fresh batteries and make sure your fire extinguishers are charged.
Winterize the car, stock up on winter supplies, keep an eye on neighbors and prepare to keep sidewalks clean of that white stuff which we won’t mention.
We could be in for another long, cold one. Let’s hope it won’t break the bank.