With January temperatures 25.6 percent colder than last January and 16.4 percent colder than normal, residents are using more energy to heat their homes.
“Colder temperatures mean higher-than-normal energy consumption as heating systems work a lot harder to maintain the desired temperature in your home,” said Kathy Kerr, vice president of customer services at New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG).
The number one factor that influences energy bills is weather. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home typically makes up about 54 percent of a home’s energy bill. Every degree your heating system is adjusted affects its daily energy use and, in turn, results in an estimated three percent change to your energy bill.
There were three days in January during which NJNG met record demand for natural gas from its customers.
“As a result, January bills for NJNG residential customers were approximately 16 percent higher despite the fact that prices overall are nine percent lower than last year,” Kerr emphasized. “This means the increase in customers’ bills is the result of higher energy usage and not the cost of natural gas. NJNG does not make a profit on the natural gas we sell.”
NJNG wants to ensure customers are aware of the tools and resources available to help with those bills and manage their energy costs.
Spread costs by enrolling in NJNG’s Budget Plan
NJNG encourages customers to even out the seasonal highs and lows of their natural gas bills by spreading the estimated annual costs evenly over 12 monthly payments. To enroll in the Budget Plan, register in My Account at njng.com or pay the budget amount shown on your NJNG bill.
Take advantage of energy assistance programs if needed.
If you are having trouble paying your bills, there are several programs to meet different income and financial situations. Please visit the “Trouble Paying Your Bills?”
Quicklink at njng.com. You can also enroll in a Deferred Payment Arrangement in My Account at njng.com.
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Use energy more efficiently and save money by following these energy-saving tips:
• Replace furnace filters a minimum of every three months. A dirty filter will demand more energy and slow down the heating process.
• Install a programmable thermostat. You can easily save energy in the winter by adjusting the times you turn on the heating according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, your equipment doesn’t operate as much while you’re asleep or away from home.
• Ensure your home is airtight. As much as 30 percent of energy is lost through floors, walls and ceilings. At a minimum, consider installing additional insulation and seal air leaks in your attic.
• Replace your old and inefficient heating and cooling system with ENERGY STAR-qualified equipment and you may cut your annual energy bill by as much as $200.
Understand your energy usage
Through the Conserve to Preserve Dashboard, NJNG’s online energy assessment tool, customers can get a customized action plan that provides useful information and cost-effective advice that can help make their home more energy-efficient and comfortable. In addition, you can learn how much energy-efficiency upgrades may save you and which ones provide more value for the money.
Plus, you can get information about rebates and incentives available from NJNG’s The SAVEGREEN Project and New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program to help make energy-efficiency upgrades more affordable.
Customers can visit the Conserve to Preserve section of njng.com for resources to help save energy and money. There you’ll find additional energy-saving tips for your home and information on energy-efficiency rebates and incentives. Also, join the more than 85,000 customer who signed up for NJNG’s free monthly E-Tips for timely updates on available resources and special offers.