Weather Alert

Black Hills Energy Suggests Energy Saving Measures For Coming Winter Heating Season

Lincoln, NE (October 14, 2021)  Black Hills Energy is recommending that natural gas users start planning now to conserve energy thru the coming winter. Many homeowners in Lincoln have noticed an increase on natural gas bills already, and the company says prices could be 30-percent more than last winter. Rising natural gas prices and growing demand are both cited as reasons.

Black Hills Energy is encouraging customers to consider weatherization projects and behavioral changes that reduce wasted energy and save money on monthly energy bills.

“We need to plan for higher heating bills going into the winter because of the commodity cost increase,” Brandy Johnson with Black Hills Energy said, “The best way to plan for that is to focus on the energy that they’re using in their homes and look for ways to save energy.”

“As we adjust our routines and prepare our homes for the changing seasons, we’re here to educate our customers on ways to save energy and start planning now for higher home heating bills during the cold months ahead,” said Kevin Jarosz, vice president of Nebraska operations. “We want to encourage our customers to be energy aware by taking advantage of easy and affordable upgrades that conserve energy and reach out now to our customer service team to learn more about our customer assistance options like Budget Billing and Black Hills Cares.”

Customers worried about affording their bill are encouraged to enroll in Budget Billing, a free payment plan that averages the amount owed each month. This budget option supports customers looking to avoid the seasonal increases in bills that result during extreme weather by averaging out their usage over a 12-month period.

Black Hills Energy is ready to help customers reduce wasted energy and manage their energy use through simple, easy tips and projects:

  • Weather-strip your windows and doors – Did you know as much as 7-12% of a building’s heating and cooling loss occurs around windows and doors? Installing foam-backed tape around windows and doors is an easy and inexpensive way to keep chilly temperatures outside.

  • Seal cracks with caulk – Check the perimeters of windows, doors or where wood siding meets concrete foundation for signs of air leaks. Apply caulk to seal cracks and joints to keep drafts and moisture out of your home.

 

  • Plug up the holes around outlets – Hardware stores sell Styrofoam plugs to seal off energy loss around outlet plugs and light switches inside your home or business. Be sure to follow installation and safety recommendations.

 

  • Keep up with regular furnace maintenance – Your heating system, whether gas or electric, is probably your home’s largest energy user in the winter. It can also be an energy waster if you don’t use it wisely. Clean furnace filters each month, replace filters at least every three months and have a professional check-up each year.

  • Install a programmable thermostat – Installing a programmable thermostat is an excellent way to reduce wasted energy overnight and while you’re out of the house. If health concerns aren’t a factor, set your thermostat to 68 degrees during winter months and reduce it by a couple of degrees while you’re sleeping.

  • Let the sun do the work – Open blinds on all south-facing windows to let the sun naturally heat your home during the day. Particularly for those spending more time at home these days, this prevents you from having to run the heat 24/7 and will save you from having to turn on additional lights.

  • Switch your bulbs – Replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LED light bulbs, which use less energy and save money — especially since you’re likely home more often and have the lights on during the colder months of the year.

For updates on Black Hills Energy and the natural gas situation, visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/winter-ready.

Energy efficiency plays a key role in cost-effectively creating a cleaner energy future. Black Hills Energy’s goal is to reduce electric emission intensity by 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2040 and natural gas emission intensity by 50% by 2035; the company has already achieved a 30% reduction in electric emissions and a 33% reduction in natural gas emissions since 2005. To learn more about Black Hills Energy’s environmental, social and governance actions, visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/sustainability.


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