Most Hudson Valley residents are being told to expect higher electric bills.

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Orange & Rockland (O&R) is urging its 130,000 natural gas and its 226,450 electric customers to use energy efficiently this winter with bills projected to be higher than last winter.

Bills projected to be higher than last winter.
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Central Hudson also warns of increased bills this winter:

"Increased global demand for energy, particularly natural gas have already triggered dramatic price increases in Europe and Asia. This spike in worldwide utilization is expected to have an impact on domestic storage levels, meaning a colder winter with strong heating demand has the potential to push energy prices higher than normal in the U.S. Combined with the increased dependence on natural gas worldwide for electric generation as nuclear and coal plants are closed, bills could rise," Central Hudson states.

The increase is due mainly to higher natural gas supply costs for both natural gas and electric customers as natural gas is one of the main fuels that power the production of electricity, officials say.

A colder winter with strong heating demand has the potential to push energy prices higher than normal
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O&R does not set supply costs and does not make a profit on the supply. The company analyzes supply and demand forecasts and uses a variety of buying methods, including short-term and long-term contracts, to get the best natural gas prices for its customers. O&R provides the commodity to customers at cost.

The cost of natural gas has increased as the demand for the commodity has increased, exports have increased, and severe weather has hindered production in the Gulf of Mexico area. These and other factors have caused a decline in the amount of gas in storage in the United States.

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Based on comparing the forecasted winter 2021-2022 to the prior three-year average of bills, the following would be the increase:

  • A residential customer using on average 600 kWh per winter month will see an average monthly bill increase from $122.97 to $144.20, or 17.3% as compared to the average of the prior three winters.
  • A residential customer using on average 177 Ccf per winter month will see an average monthly bill increase from $232.52 to $273.92, or 17.8% as compared to the average of the prior three winters.
  • The key to controlling home energy costs is managing usage. That becomes more important with costs rising.
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O&R Advises:

  • To make natural gas work harder for you, it makes sense to have a qualified heating contractor or plumber clean and inspect your heating system before winter sets in. An efficiently burning heating system not only makes your natural gas dollars go farther, but it’s cleaner and safer.
  • Taking steps to tighten up insulation by using weather-stripping at all attic stairwells and access points and stopping cold air infiltration from electric switch and plug outlets by using draft blockers can also pay off.
  • In addition, double-checking all points where heat enters a room to make sure, draperies, furniture or other obstacles do not interfere with the free flow of heat is a practical, easy way to help.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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