Friday, February 12, 2010

Keep Energy Costs Low During Snow Season

Due to the unusual amount of snow that has fallen this winter season energy prices have increased. Many East Coast residents lost power for several days due to the winter storms and blizzards that rocked the East Coast.

The Federal Government was closed for 4 days due to the snow storms. Approximately 80,000 people in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia lost power.

Many East Coast residents were snow bound due to high snow drifts, cars covered in snow and painful recovery from digging out from the previous snow storm. Since many residents had "cabin fever", more energy was used during the past two weeks than usual this winter season and has reduced the United States' supply of natural gas and heating oil.

The Mid-Atlantic states such as DE, MD, NY, NJ, PA, VA, WV and DC use the largest amount of natural gas and heating oil in the United States. Although the snowy season has reduced energy supplies we are in no danger of running out. Heating oil for March 2010 caused prices to increase to $1.8855 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

If heating oil prices keep increasing utility companies will try to pass the additional costs to consumers by charging higher rates. If you are snowbound at home for several days here are 7 ways to reduce energy costs.

1. Run appliances at off-peak times on the weekends or Monday-Friday after 7pm to save money.

2. Don't overload washes or dryers, this causes the appliance to use more energy and increase energy costs.

3. Keep heat between 68 and 70 degrees. Turn heat on the normal time you would arrive home from work.

4. Wear additional clothes during the day to prevent turning up the thermostat. Open blinds or curtains to let sunlight in during the day to keep the house warm.

5. Cover drafty winds with plastic insulation. Cover drafty doors with insulation or a throw rug.

6. Take showers instead of baths to conserve heating costs. Use luke warm water when taking showers.

7. Be creative and find other ways to entertain yourself instead of watching television or using the computer. Play games with your family, do some pre-spring cleaning, call loves ones or friends, etc.

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