VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Oct. 1, 2019 – Now that the hot summer months have begun to fade, it’s time to think about the colder weather that is right around the corner. With national meteorologists predicting a “polar coaster” with above-average precipitation coupled with below-average temperatures, October, deemed National Energy Awareness Month, is the perfect time to start thinking about ways to conserve energy and become more energy efficient.
Established by presidential proclamation in 1991 to promote energy efficiency, Energy Awareness Month is the perfect time for homeowners and businesses to assess how much energy is being consumed and identify ways to reduce waste and cost.
“With the change in season comes a shift in energy usage as heaters are starting to be used more to compensate for cooler temperatures,” said Rick DelaHaya, VNG spokesperson. “This is the perfect time for customers to look at their energy usage and learn how to save energy and money through low-cost or no-cost measures.”
Here are several tips VNG recommends to help save energy:
Take a Home Energy Audit
Through the Virginia Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Program, VNG customers can take a FREE online home energy audit that helps determine home energy usage and identifies energy-saving opportunities to help save money and conserve energy while enhancing the overall comfort in the home.
The survey takes as little as seven minutes to complete and could help save money on energy costs. Once completed, customers receive a comprehensive report with personalized recommendations for saving energy in their home.
Customers can also request a FREE energy-savings kit mailed to their home to help them get started on a path to energy savings.
To help keep cold air out and warm air in, the kit includes shrink-fit window kit, a 17-foot roll of closed-cell from weather stripping, and a pack of eight outlets and four light-switch foam gasket insulators.
For more information on the FREE online energy audit, visit https://www.virginianaturalgas.com/residential/energy-savings/free-online-energy-audit
Install a Programmable Thermostat
With a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature to the exact point of your own personal comfort. You can create a schedule that follows your family’s routine and regulate the temperature while you are away to ease up on the energy usage when you’re not home.
By installing a programmable thermostat, the unnecessary energy use can save another 10% on your heating bills.
Virginia Natural Gas customers can also receive a $50 rebate on the purchase and installation of a Wi-Fi enabled qualifying "smart" thermostat.
Visit www.virginianaturalgas.com/residential/energy-savings/energysmart-rebates for more information on energy efficiency rebates.
Find and Seal Leaks
Be sure to check for air leaks or gaps around walls, ceilings, windows, doors, switches and outlets. Heating bills can be reduced up to 20% by preventing and sealing leaks.
Maintain Your Heating Systems
A well-maintained heating system runs more efficiently. A complete tune-up of the home heating system is a worthwhile investment and can reduce monthly heating bills.
Remember to change or clean air filters monthly since dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
Heating Assistance Programs
As the temperatures start to lower, thermostats tend to go up and some household budgets cannot keep up with the demands of using more energy to heat their homes. Virginia Natural Gas wants to help its customers better prepare for this year’s heating season by reminding those who may be eligible for financial assistance of programs available that could help offset winter heating costs.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) - General enrollment for LIHEAP begins Tuesday, Oct. 8, and continues through Friday, Nov. 8. The federal- and state-funded energy assistance program helps low- and fixed-income families, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities, meet their energy needs during the winter heating season. Eligible customers monthly gross income may not exceed $2,789, or about $33,475 annually for a family of four. For more information more or to locate a local department of social services, call 1.800.552.3431.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 300,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers and is consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. In 2018, Virginia Natural Gas was named Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
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