With the first official day of winter less than a month away, our minds are already turning to winter preparation. Over the last few years, the U.S. has seen particularly volatile winters, which resulted in heavy strains on power supply and dramatic price spikes for energy.
EIA’s October Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that heating oil and propane prices will remain higher throughout the coming 2018-2019 winter, as well. Plus, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) anticipates that the season will be colder than last winter in much of the country (though not in the Midwest, which NOAA says is expected to be 1% warmer than last winter).
Despite advancements in modern technology, we still can’t accurately predict the weather. So, regardless of the temperatures outside, here are a few tips to mitigate the effects of extreme temperatures on our energy bills.
Tip 1: Use Less.
It may be commons sense, but it bears mentioning: The primary and most common way to lower energy bills is to reduce usage where possible. Because energy prices, which are dictated by governmental bodies and private industries, can be less flexible, energy usage is user-driven and completely under your control.
Tip 2: Track Usage.
Many utilities allow customers to track their electricity usage online. Take advantage of this opportunity. Not only can you see which facilities are using the most power at what time, but it can provide you with performance metrics. Use these benchmarks to optimize your energy spend without affecting productivity.
Tip 3: Review.
Usage isn’t the only factor that contributes to the rising or falling of energy costs. In states that are deregulated for electricity and/ or natural gas procurement, there are energy suppliers by the dozen. It’s important to review an energy supply contract as thoroughly as any standard agreement, especially before winter and summer, where energy usage tends to be at its highest. A knowledgeable consultant like Titan Energy can help to facilitate this process and make sure you’re getting the right supplier to meet your needs.