How To Reduce Your Winter Heating Costs

Posted on 11/15/22

Since many Illinoisans may find it difficult to pay their higher heating bills this winter, AARP Illinois is pushing for a reduction in the exorbitant surcharges that utilities will impose. These heating bill-saving recommendations are part of AARP Illinois's effort to assist Illinoisans as they brace themselves for increasing heating costs this winter. 
 
Here are some strategies you may follow to remain warm while spending less: 
 
Strategy #1: Weatherizing Your Home 
 
Your increasing heating expenses may be caused by drafty doors and uninsulated pipes. Programs for weatherization are available to help with this potentially expensive home renovation work: 
 
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds weatherproofing projects for low-income households, with priority given to adults 60 and older and those with disabilities. 
 
Home Performance with Energy Star initiative, which helps households of all income levels make weather-related improvements 
 
Strategy #2: LIHEAP 
 
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Is a government-funded assistance program that helps eligible low-income families with utilities bills. This service primarily assists with heating costs during the winter months, but assistance with water bill costs is also available. Check your eligibility and learn how to apply today. The application period for LIHEAP is currently open and will run until May 31, 2023. Find a listing of all LIHEAP assistance agencies by county here
 
Strategy #3: Utility Company Discounts 
 
Numerous aid programs are offered by government-run organizations and utility corporations. The programs may involve capping or reducing your monthly bill costs. By getting in touch with the Illinois state energy office (Illinois EPA), you can learn more about any state-funded support programs and the application procedure.  

 Strategy #4: Budget Billing 
 
Budget billing, often known as average or levelized billing, may not always ensure a genuine reduction. It is a means for those on fixed incomes to pay the same amount for utilities each month. However, this may aid in preventing a significant seasonal spike this winter. Your utility company will bill you an equal amount each month based on your anticipated costs for the year after averaging your previous energy use. 
 
If your energy usage goes over the estimate provided by your energy provider, you can owe money at the end of the year. Ask the provider how you will be compensated if you use less gas or electricity than anticipated as well. Before making a choice, weigh the benefits and drawbacks, and make sure to find out whether there will be an additional monthly administration price for the service. 
 
Additional Resources: 
 
Protect yourself against utility scams and fraud 
 
More ways to save on your utilities  

This story is provided by AARP Illinois. Visit the AARP Illinois page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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