Control Your Heating Costs
Your heating costs are made up of two factors: the cost of the heating fuel and the amount of heating fuel you use. No matter where prices go or what the heating season is like, you can make the most of your energy dollars by taking basic steps to reduce your usage. The less fuel you use to heat your home, the more you will save.
This winter, you can substantially reduce your home heating costs by:
- maintaining your heating system
- insulating your home
- sealing air leaks around window, doors and foundations
- adjusting your thermostat settings, and
- following other simple, affordable steps outlined in this checklist.
You can also perform an energy audit of your home to discover and correct air leaks. Visit our energy efficiency website for more energy-saving tips for your home or business.
Consider Bill Payment Options, Financial Assistance and Energy Efficiency Programs
You or someone you know may need financial help to get through this heating season. Various bill payment options and financial assistance programs are available.
Payment options from your utility include:
- Budget Plans - which provide equal monthly payments
- Deferred Payment Agreements - which may be available if you have fallen behind on your bill and cannot pay in full.
Financial Assistance Programs are also available to help consumers with their heating costs.
Government-sponsored programs - Contact your county's Department of Social Services or Office for Aging to learn about assistance programs such as the Home Energy Assistance Program, a federally funded program that provides heating grants to help low-income consumers pay for their energy costs.
Community-based service programs - Service organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, and local Community Action Agencies provide financial aid, counseling services and assistance with utility emergencies.
Utility-sponsored programs - Payment assistance programs are available through each of the major natural gas and electric utilities. In addition, eligible low-income customers can receive a discount on their monthly electric and/or gas bills, as well as other benefits, depending on the characteristics of the particular utility's program. For more information, contact your utility directly.
Energy efficiency programs designed to make improvements to your home or business are also available from several government agencies and New York's major energy utilities. Visit our energy efficiency website for more information on these programs and the tax credits that are available for energy efficiency improvement measures.
Take the Chill Out of your Winter Heating Bills - Brochure about controlling heating costs with simple, affordable energy savings tips, energy efficiency programs, financial assistance programs and bill payment options.
Natural Gas Outlook - Factsheet on the winter preparedness of New York State natural gas utilites. Includes information on the factors that affect the cost of natural gas and ways to control your winter heating bill
Household Energy Use - Steps to make energy more affordable and at the same time conserve energy and promote cleaner sustainable energy solutions.
A Consumer Guide to Utility Service Tips, Assistance Programs and Protections - Information on assistance programs, utility customers rights and responsibilities and potential scams that could affect your utility bills.
Phantom Electricity Loss - Tip strip on the amount of electricity that some appliances use even when turned off.