Natural gas users across the country and in other parts of the world are seeing an increase in their gas costs, primarily due to natural gas market prices being much higher than last winter. Prices are about 90% higher than last winter nationally and in Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s service area, according to a PG&E press release. Globally, it has increased by around 400%.
PG&E officials noted that these higher natural gas costs, combined with lower than normal temperatures in some areas, are prompting people to turn up their heaters, which increases monthly energy bills.
More than 70% of winter energy costs come from your heating system, water heater, and washer/dryer, according to the release notes, which also shared several tips for saving on this expense:
Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower, health permitting, save 2% for each degree the thermostat is lowered; clean or replace air filters monthly and keep warm air moving by reversing ceiling fans to force warm air into living areas; set the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or less; install low-flow fixtures to use less water (or take shorter showers); and wash clothes in cold water.
As the weather and temperatures warm, typically in March and April, energy use and bills are expected to decline, energy officials note.