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National Grid bills expected to spike this winter

national grid expert
Jessica Cain
/
WRVO
National Grid energy efficiency expert Tom Baron gives advice on how to save money on heating bills this winter.

National Grid customers are likely to experience some sticker shock this winter, as the price of natural gas spikes.

The company is forecasting that its average natural gas customer will see about a 39 percent increase in their bills over the winter heating season. Electric customers can expect about a five percent increase.

Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid’s Regional Director of Customer and Community Engagement, said the energy market is facing challenging economic conditions.

"The war in Ukraine, energy constraints in Europe, the global inflation and supply chain crisis, together they have fueled price increases in nearly every sector of the world economy," said Bianchetti.

But there are things people can do to save on their bills.

National Grid energy efficiency specialist Tom Baron recommends making sure your home is properly insulated, using LED lights, and looking into programmable or Wi-Fi thermostats. He said rolling back your thermostat even one degree can save about one to three percent on an annual energy bill.

"It's not just the equipment in your home, but it’s your behavior relative to that equipment,” Baron said. “So, for instance, if you invested in a high efficiency furnace, but you didn't have a good set point, you're leaving money on the table."

For people who are still struggling, National Grid recommends reaching out to a consumer advocate, like Mary Beth Basha.

"We actually assess a person's situation, the amount of money that is owed on their bill, and then we align them with various programs in the local communities," said Basha.

Basha said last year alone, the advocates were able to help 30,000 customers in upstate New York. To get in touch with an advocate, call 1-800-642-4272 or email ConsumerAdvocatesUNY@nationalgrid.com.

For more ideas on how to reduce your energy bill, you can take a home energy assessment here.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.