More cold temps heading our way; tips to lower your heating bill - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

More cold temps heading our way; tips to lower your heating bills

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

More bitter cold temperatures are on the way next week.

 But how will that affect you in terms of what you're paying your utilities? More importantly, what can you do to save money this season?

Cold weather means a lot of things for utility companies across the nation.

It means higher usage, higher bills and in some cases, shortages.

"Gas supply is not affected. Mississippi is in very good shape as far as gas supply goes," said Robert Lesley, Atmos Energy spokesman.

Lesley's talking about natural gas and says even next week's polar plunge won't affect customers.

Higher bills, at least in terms of usage, will though.

And he said  mother nature is mostly to blame.  

"When you look at January of 2013 and December of 2012, those were very warm months historically speaking. December of 2013 and January of 2014, as we all know, has been extremely cold, so demand is way up, and that's going to be reflected in bills, the demand is", Lesley added.

Those bills can be reduced by adjusting the thermostat in your home, but it won't be a drastic reduction, again, because of the extreme cold.

"If it was set on 68 and it was a typical Mississippi winter, 50's or so, your heater wouldn't run as much to keep the inside at 68," said Mara Hartmann, Entergy spokesperson.

But because we've had below freezing temps for several days, those heating units have to run longer.

So what can you do to keep your place warm without breaking the bank?

"If you have your curtains drawn in a particular, especially a room that gets a lot of sunlight, open the curtains. Let the sunshine in. And that will help cut your gas usage because the sun will naturally warm the room you're in," Lesley added.

"You can wrap your water heater with a blanket. That's the second-biggest user of electricity in the house," Hartmann said.

 

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