Frigid temperatures are causing heating bills to skyrocket


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    KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Frigid cold temperatures combined with more time snuggled up inside your home means you could see higher heating bills soon.

    Energy Efficiency Adviser, Kevin Fischer with Benton Public Utility Department said energy is obviously going to be consumed more during the winter but he said there’s ways to save on your heating bill.

    When temperatures are brutally cold you may feel like the simple solution is to crank the thermostat up but experts say that could cost you.

    “The biggest tip for these really cold temperatures is to leave your heat pump on the normal heating mode,” said Fischer.

    He said if you leave it on heat pump mode you’re going to save energy but if you switch it over to emergency heat your bill is going to go through the roof.

    To help save on your bill, Fischer recommends keeping outdoor heating clear.

    Fischer said, “you want to make sure that the outer part of the heating system is cleaned away so that it can actually move air through it and isn’t covered with snow”.

    He said its usual for your usage to go up since kids are home earlier and lights are being left on longer.

    But to help save on your energy bill experts recommend disconnecting any unused appliances.

    “Anything you’re not using that’s what we call a low cost, no cost tip, it doesn’t cost you a thing to unplug things you’re not using,” said Fischer.

    He said outdoor appliances like a hot tub or a pool are also going to cost more than what you're used to seeing in the summer.

    Fischer said, “Some people have exterior hot tubs and those things will add $100 to your bill during the winter months”.

    However, before the cost gets too high Benton County Public Utility Department recommends tracking your bill online at ‘SmartHub’.

    Fischer said the application ‘SmartHub’ helps people manage their account and check their usage making you more aware of how you’re using energy.

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