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Heating costs expected to decrease this winter

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Heating costs expected to decrease this winter
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Keeping your home warm might make less of an impact on your wallet this year. National Grid says a combination of factors is expected to lead to some of the lowest heating costs in eight years. Our Sarah Blazonis has details and tips on how you can cut your bill even more.

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. -- Look around Mike and Kay von Sneidern's home and you'll find several recent additions: There's the new windows, roof and heating and cooling system. It might sound like they're trying to save on their energy bill, but the couple says the changes are more about comfort than cost.

"We saw that this summer was likely to be very hot and Kay has asthma, so we made the move," said Baldwinsville resident Mike von Sneidern.

But National Grid says the von Sneiderns will see reduced costs and so will the utility company's other customers. Low natural gas costs are expected to cut the average bill by up to three percent this season.

"The reduction in the commodity price is really driven by a couple of things. Weather conditions and whether there is any interruption in the harvesting of gas and the distribution of gas, certainly the usage from a customer perspective," said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid's Customer and Community Management Director.

That means the average customer will pay around $644 to heat their home from November to March, a savings of $21 over last year.

National Grid says there are other steps customers can take to reduce their energy bills, including installing programmable thermostats.

"Have furnace and heating systems checked every two years by a qualified heating contractor. Customers should also make sure that their attic, walls and foundations are well insulated," suggested Tom Baron, manager of the company's Residential Energy Efficiency Programs.

Rebate programs are also available for upgrading to energy efficient appliances. The von Sneiderns say they received more than $600 back for installing their new air conditioning and furnace, something that will be getting a lot more use as temperatures continue to fall.

For more tips or to learn about National Grid's incentive programs for making energy efficient home changes, visit National Grid's Energy Efficiency Services Hub.

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