LITTLE ROCK – In the coming weeks and months Arkansas will likely experience colder temperatures and Arkansans will unfortunately be looking at significant increases on their energy bills from years past. Lower temperatures mean heating units are working overtime, and more money will be draining from pocketbooks thanks to the previous winter weather spikes, inflation, supply chain issues, cancellation of the Keystone pipeline, and the halt of oil and gas drilling. Arkansans have already seen a rise of prices from gas to groceries and the next surge of prices will affect home energy during the winter months. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is urging all Arkansans to take precautions to prepare their home and finances from the challenging winter ahead.
“Financial trends indicate that Arkansans can expect skyrocketing price increases this winter,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “President Biden has failed us in not only governing, but stopping our nation’s ability to be self-sufficient in energy and Arkansans will feel the impact this winter with high heating bills.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to keep energy costs low throughout the colder months.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when no one is home. Some newer models can connect to smartphones providing access regardless of location.
- Seal cracks or holes around the home by weather-stripping doors and windows and adding insulation to walls, the attic and crawlspace to prevent loss of heat.
- Set ceiling fans to spin clockwise to recirculate rising hot air.
- Make sure baseboard heaters, air vents and radiators are unobstructed.
- Service the heating system at least once a year to ensure it is operating properly.
- Consult with a licensed plumber regarding potentially wrapping the water heater in a water heater insulating blanket and turning down the temperature to the warm setting.
- Close the vents and doors to rooms that are not being used.
- Keep air filters clean and replace regularly.
Many Arkansans burn wood as a heat source, while other consumers heat with liquefied petroleum gas. Gas users should consider signing a long-term contract with a provider in order to lock in a specific price over a set period. Homeowners should also assess consumption needs and order propane refills prior to the current supply running out. Other heating sources like space heaters require caution and must be located away from flammable materials and can often impact energy costs. The Department of Energy reports that space heaters account for about 45 percent of energy bills in average U.S. homes.
Other tips and resources are available at EnergyEfficiencyArkansas.org, a partnership between Arkansas utility companies and the Arkansas Energy Office. For more information about navigating utility costs and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or [email protected] or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.