NIPSCO: Heating Cost To Rise By $4 (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

October 23, 2013 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – You've probably fired up the furnace in your household the past few days, but have you thought about what that'll mean for your energy bill?

The cold weather is here, so the heat is on! Jill Perillo with NIPSCO says energy costs are rising, but the good news is she says not by much.

Perillo says your energy bill should only go up by $4 this heating season compared to last year—merely cents on the dollar every month.

Perillos says NIPSCO considers the heating season to be from Nov. 1 to March 31. Perillo says the cost prediction is based on a normal winter season, so costs could fluctuate based on weather conditions.

However, there are ways to winterize your home and reduce energy costs like having your furnace checked, changing your filters, and using storm doors and windows, among other things.

"Approximately 50 percent or more of the energy used in our home is from heating and cooling. So simply just by adding a programmable thermostat or adding insulation, either of those ways could save you some money,” said Perillo.

But if money’s still an issue, Perillo says NIPSCO offers a number of payment plans, including a budget plan where you can pay a monthly flat rate based on your average energy usage.

“When I talk to family and friends a lot of them are on the budget plan. I'm on the budget plan and I enjoy it. Sometimes you even end up in a situation where you're not paying a bill for a couple months because there's a significant credit at the end of the cycle,” she said.

Perillo says there is also a payment assistance plan through Community Action of Northeast Indiana (CANI) where state and federal money is available for those who meet income requirements.

For a list of energy saving tips and payment plans, click on “NIPSCO” under News Links on our homepage.

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