By now you probably know that if your state commission approves a natural gas rate decrease request, you are likely to see a 17 to 20 percent decrease in your natural gas rates on Nov. 1.
But before you start planning for that extra cash in your pocket this winter, you need to consider your normal energy usage.
I think it’s human nature to assume that because the price is cheaper, it’s OK to use a little more. You might want to turn that thermostat up a few degrees, “because I’m saving money anyway, since the rate is lower.” As we say in our energy efficiency messages “every little bit” really does add up. This phrase works for both savings and costs.
One of my friends here at Avista, Christine McCabe, who does a lot of senior energy workshops says, as a general guideline, you should keep your home at a comfortable temperature for you. I think that’s good advice and it’s flexible for each of us. If you’re watching TV and not moving around the house, you might like it a little warmer. Yet, if you’re doing laundry, cooking dinner and cleaning the house – you’re probably keeping yourself plenty warm already and don’t need to turn up the thermostat.
Here’s my concern this winter: We’ve been sharing news about lower natural gas rates all year long and it’s true that your rates will be lower. Yet, this doesn’t mean you will automatically save money. It comes down to you and your decisions on how you use energy.
So be comfortable this winter, but don’t overdo it by assuming that the lower rates will help you avoid those traditionally higher winter bills. You are in control of your bill.
|One example of info provided by the |
Bill Analyzer. It leads you to more
detailed info specific to your use.
Click to enlarge.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into your bill, you might want to check out our Bill Analyzer on this website. It’s one of the tools that can help you understand how you use energy at your home and compare your recent usage and bills to past months and years.
The Bill Analyzer is easy to use and a simple report shows your energy consumption and how your bill was impacted by items such as: weather, number of days in each month’s billing cycle, average cost of natural gas and/or electricity, and daily energy usage.