KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Winter blasts and freezing temperatures have been affecting metro residence’s heating bills.
Kansas City has experienced the second coldest temperatures in 30 years during January and February, which means we're using more energy to heat our homes with higher bills looming.
While keeping your home warm can be a challenge, there are things you can save energy and money.
33-year-old Alison Greene says she has been trying to reduce her energy bill by using a wood burning stove.
“I think we have noticed an increase again not as much as the average person because we do use the wood burning stove,” said Greene.
Greene, like thousands in the metro, is on an average bill calculation plan that allows customers to pay the same amount for their energy use all year long. If she uses less gas this year due to burning wood her average monthly bill next year should drop.
Many utilities offer similar programs to help people keep warm without burning holes in their pockets. Missouri Gas Energy has a cold weather rule that allows customers to pay a portion of their bills to keep their heat on or prevent it from being turned off from November through March.
Randy Spector with Missouri gas energy says there are some simple things you can do to conserve energy and save money.
“Cold weather, people have used more heat to heat their home and obviously bills are going to go up accordingly,” said Spector. “Shut off areas of the house that are not being used, so if you have room you don't use, shut that off. The less space you have to heat the less energy you are going to use.”
Spector also suggests you turn the thermostat down during the day while you work and cycle it down at night by five to seven degrees to conserve energy while you sleep. In addition to that he suggests you make sure your furnace filter is clean.
To sign up for the average bill calculation program contact your energy company, and if you need help in paying your energy bills, Kansas Gas Energy has an energy assistance program with the Salvation Army.
For help in Missouri you can call the United Way's 211 Action Center.