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Heat bills projected to be lower in Central Indiana this winter

Citizens Energy and Vectren Energy predict about 10 percent decline
Posted: 1:54 PM, Oct 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-08 14:04:34-04
CALL 6: What you can do to lower your heating bill

INDIANAPOLIS — Central Indiana gas companies announced Tuesday they project anywhere from a 5 percent to an 11 percent decline in natural gas heating bills for the coming winter season.

The Energy Information Administration recently reported that natural gas is the most affordable heating source.

From November through March, Citizens Energy Group estimates the total average natural gas bill will be about $430. Last winter the average natural gas bill was $484.

Vectren customers are expected to pay $440 to $450. Last winter's average bill for the Vectren customers was around $490.

Vectren customers who heated their homes with natural gas last year saved up to $885, compared to those who heat with propane. Natural gas customers also saved $385 to $1,220 compared to those who use an electric furnace or pump.

"While we are pleased with our efforts to reduce natural gas bills, we realize many low-income customers need assistance," Jeffrey Harrison, Citizens President & CEO, said. "That's why we are increasing our efforts to identify and assist customers in need through our Warm Heart Warm Home Foundation and other sources."

What you should do if you need help with your Citizens Energy heating bill:

  • Call 'Connect2Help' at 211
  • Visit IndyEap.org to see if you qualify for the Indiana Energy Assistance Program
  • Enroll in a Citizens Budget Plan to spread payments over 12 months
  • If you are falling behind, call Citizens at 317-924-3311

What you should do if you need help with your Vectren heating bill:

  • Vectren offers appliance rebates and energy-saving tools and tips
  • Enroll into Vectren's budget billing plan that spread bills out to a 12 month plan
  • Visit IndyEap.org to see if you qualify for the Indiana Energy Assistance Program
  • If you apply at EAP, you will automatically be enrolled in the Universal Service Program, which provides additional gas bill reductions that range from 15 to 32 percent of the total bill
  • Request assistance from 'Share the Warmth'

“If customers are experiencing financial hardship and get behind on payments or are in need of financial assistance, there are several options to help manage costs and we encourage them to make contact,” Richard Leger, vice president of Natural Gas Distribution, Indiana and Ohio, said. “Local community action agencies can further provide assistance and customers should call today and apply for financial and/or home weatherization assistance if needed.”

Energy-conservation tips, provided by Citizens Energy include:

  • Replace your furnace filter: Changing your furnace filter once a month helps your furnace work more efficiently.
  • Dial down your thermostat: A 10-degree reduction for an 8-hour period each day will reduce your heating bill 10 percent.
  • Dial down your water heater: A 10-degree reduction in water temperature saves 5 percent on energy costs.