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As Temperatures Drop Winter Heating Costs Soar

Weather Extremes Increase Costs for Nevadans

Whether winter or summer, Nevadans from all parts of the state often deal with weather extremes. And in the winter, most parts of Nevada experience extreme cold. Heating bills can run pretty high during this time of year; however, AARP may be able to help with a few free and low-cost tips to keep you warm and leave a little more money in your pocket.

See Also: LIHEAP Funds OK'd for Energy Costs

Tip #1: Consider Taking Advantage of Billing Averaging Plans through Your Energy Services Provider

Most energy services providers have a program which allows residential ratepayers to pay a flat fee each month based on averaging their utility costs over a year. The advantage is obvious: you can actually plan for the cost of your heating and cooling bills. NV Energy/Sierra Pacific Energy and SW Gas all offer such plans in Nevada.

Tip #2: Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater

Reducing your water heater temperature by 20 degrees can save nearly $50 a year. Try to keep your water heater at 120 degrees for optimum savings. And take showers instead of baths. You’ll use less water if you do.

Tip #3: Use Heat Generating Appliances such as Clothes Dryers and Ovens during the Coolest Time of the Day.

You’ll help heat your house while getting your chores done if follow this tip. Make sure you have a full load of clothes when you use the washer and keep the setting on cold whenever possible to save additional costs. And if you leave the oven door slightly ajar after you’ve shut off the oven; the heat will radiate into your kitchen even after your cooking is done.

Tip #4: Over time, Switch to Energy Saving CFL Light Bulbs.

Though they are more expensive than traditional light bulbs they’ll still save you money. The U.S. Dept of Energy suggests you can save up to $69 per bulb over the seven-year average life of the CFL light bulb. And for those of you who say, “I don’t like the light the CFL’s generate,” look again. Some of the new ones have great ambient light.

Tip #5: Seek Help Right Away if you’re having Trouble Paying Your Bill

In Nevada, programs are available to help people struggling to pay their bills. However, those programs could be in jeopardy as Federal and State budgets continue to shrink.

If you want to get involved and make your voice heard on the importance of these programs and other energy issues in Nevada, sign up today.