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Gas bills expected to increase this winter, tips to keep them lower

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As the weather gets colder, you may worry about what that upcoming gas bill could look like. Here are some tips for keeping your utility bills low this season.

Oklahoma Natural Gas announced it expects a price increase for November through March, so this winter might be a little pricier than years before. But there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t get burned by your gas bill.

  • Set the temperature on your gas water heater to 120 degrees or the “warm” setting, and if you’re leaving home, set it to the pilot position.
  • Apply weatherstripping and caulk to seal the gaps around doors and windows.
  • Make sure you have clean filters on your furnace — that alone can reduce your energy consumption by 5 to 15%.
  • Keep your curtains drawn unless you have a south-facing window, then feel free to open those drapes and take advantage of the sun.
  • During extremely cold weather, it's a good idea to hold off on chores that use natural gas to heat, like doing laundry or running the dishwasher. If you have to, use the cold setting when possible.

Utility bill assistance is available in Oklahoma. Residents can apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Low Energy Water Assistance Program from Oklahoma Human Services. State officials say priority will be given to the elderly, disabled and families with children under five-years-old. To sign up, visit OKDHSlive.org.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Beth reports on education topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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