City officials are hoping the recent decrease in temperatures will incentivize residents to improve home weatherization before the thermostat drops lower.
“In preparation of the onset of cold, winter weather, this is a good time for customers to inspect the home for air leaks, which contribute to higher energy usage and utility bills,” said Public Utilities Director Rich Worsinger.
Natural gas customers will notice a slight increase in upcoming utility bills due to an increase to the cost of natural gas. The Purchased Gas Adjustment increased by $0.18 bringing the rate to $1.20709 per therm.
The price increase has officials touting programs that help residents such as free energy audits. During an audit, experts go through residences to determine what occupants can do to increase a home’s energy efficiency. Some of the tips are costly whereas other tips – such as sealing windows and reducing the temperature on water heaters – just take a small amount of money and time.
“It is always a good ideas to be proactive when it comes to energy savings,” Public Utilities Communication Coordinator Amy Blanton said. “Residents should plan ahead to try to save energy to prepare for the winter season.”
According to N.C. Public Power, a third of a home’s total heat loss is through unsealed windows and doors.
“Customers should check for air leaks in their duct systems, fireplace dampers, attic hatches, baseboards and around windows and doors,” Worsinger said.
Planning Director Ken Graves said officials are making a waiting list for Energy Share funds, which help homeowners with weatherization improvements such as improved insulation and an energy efficient heating unit. A timeline for the start of weatherization work has not been announced.
For more information on ways to conserve energy or to schedule an energy audit, call Customer Service at 972-1250 or sign up online at http://www.rockymountnc.gov/energyaudit.html.