November 2005
Prepare for High Bills This Winter

This winter's rising energy costs will affect your heating bills. With record-breaking prices, your heating bills could double compared to last year.

That's why it's even more important for you to change some of your habits, so you can conserve energy around your home and use less natural gas this winter.

First, determine the areas that consume the most energy, and then consider ways to use less.

Space Heating

During the winter months, most of your energy consumption is from heating your home. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that space heating consists of 49 percent of your total energy costs.

Install a programmable thermostat to monitor the temperature of your home throughout the day. Instead of adjusting the thermostat when you're too hot or too cold, a programmable thermostat does this for you.

You can have different settings during the day and night. Most thermostats can store up to six settings. But once you store the settings, avoid changing them. During the winter months, set the temperature to 70 degrees and 65 degrees while you're away.

Dress in layers rather than changing the thermostat when you're too cold and let the programmable thermostat do its job. If you're away from home for several days, a programmable thermostat's override option let's you temporarily change the settings to a lower temperature.

Water Heating

Using hot water is a necessity for most people today-for showers, washing dishes, washing clothes and cooking. You can still have hot water this winter, but use less energy. Try practicing these habits.

  • Start by lowering the temperature on your hot water heater. A setting of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes. You'll save energy and protect your family from scalds.
  • Install low-flow showerheads. Their energy savings will quickly pay for themselves.
  • Take short showers instead of baths and avoid running the water while shaving.
  • Wash and dry only full loads of laundry. And try washing clothes with cold water instead of warm.
Small Changes = Big Savings

A large portion of your budget goes into energy costs each month-heating and cooling your home, running appliances and driving your vehicle.

With the rising costs of energy nationwide, Walton EMC Natural Gas can only assure you that we will continue offering you the lowest price possible for natural gas. We can't predict future gas prices, but we do know that we will remain committed to providing lower prices than other marketers along with quality customer service.

We encourage you to conserve energy this winter. Small changes can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 10 percent or more.

Take advantage of the energy saving tips in this month's issue of The Walton EMC Gasette and go online to the U.S. Department of Energy's website for more helpful information.

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This month's recipe features Carrot Soufflé.