VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – OCT. 25, 2021 – Now that fall is right around the corner in Coastal Virginia, many homeowners will turn on their heaters again to take the chill out of the morning or evening air.
Since weather plays the biggest role in the amount of energy customers use and how it impacts their bill, now is the perfect time to take steps to help take control of your energy bills and stay warm during the coldest spells.
“Nearly half of the energy in your home goes to heating and cooling,” said Rick DelaHaya, Virginia Natural Gas representative. “Now is the perfect time to prepare for the cooler months ahead and Virginia Natural Gas offers many low-cost or no-cost measures to help customers save money and take control of their energy usage.”
Here are the top cold-weather tips from Virginia Natural Gas energy experts:
- ·Take a FREE home energy audit, one of the easiest ways you can identify measures to conserve energy. Through the Energy Efficiency Program at Virginia Natural Gas, VNG customers can access a FREE online home energy audit from anywhere at any time on a laptop, tablet or mobile device. The audit helps determine home energy usage and identifies energy-saving opportunities to help conserve energy and save money while enhancing the overall comfort in the 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. This year’s kit includes pipe insulation for 3/4" diameter copper pipe, 3' pieces, a five-minute shower timer and a hot water temperature card. These items are easy to install and can make a big difference in your water heating bills.
- Set your thermostat at a constant temperature. Since almost half of the energy in your home goes to heating and cooling, try to set the thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter and leave it. For every degree above 68 that you set your thermostat, you’ll pay 10% more in heating costs.
- 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.
- Reverse the settings on your ceiling fan to push warmer air down to the floor level.
- Maintain your heating system. 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. Need a contractor? Visit virgnianaturalsgas.com/contractor.
- Change your air filters. Remember to change or clean air filters in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation since dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
- 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. Virginia Natural Gas customers can also receive a $50 rebate on the purchase and installation of a Wi-Fi enabled "smart" thermostat.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Just like you would with your heater during the winter, or your air conditioner during the summer, simply lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater can have a significant effect on your energy bill. Take shorter showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional savings.
For more energy savings tips, visit virginianaturalgas.com/energyefficiency.
Heating Assistance Programs
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 started Tuesday, Oct. 12, and continues through Friday, Nov. 12. The federal- and state-funded energy assistance program helps income eligible 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 $2,839 for a family of four. For more information or to locate a local department of social services, call 211 Virginia (dial 2-1-1) or 804.726.7000.
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 clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service to more than 300,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in southeast Virginia. Consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the company also has been recognized by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for its safety, innovation, environmental stewardship, community outreach and educational programs, and has been named Local Distribution Company of the Year five times since 2015. The company has been ranked by its business customers as one of the most Trusted Business Partners in the utility industry according to Cogent Reports, and as one of the Top Workplaces in Hampton Roads by Inside Business. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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 4.3 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 666,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
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