Piedmont Natural Gas prepares Tennessee customers for higher winter bills
- Dec 3, 2021 3:20 pm GMT
* Global surges in the cost of natural gas are driving price increases.
* Company continues proactively notifying customers of payment plans, available assistance, other tools to help manage bills.
"Natural gas market prices are higher due to the economic recovery from strong natural gas demand from last winter, along with slower than anticipated production this year," said
Piedmont purchases natural gas at the best possible price and then passes this cost directly to customers with no markup, so customers pay what we pay. Piedmont regularly reviews and, when necessary, seeks to adjust what it bills customers in
"Our goal is to keep rates as affordable as possible while still delivering safe and reliable natural gas service to customers," said
Weintraub continued, "We are committed to helping our customers and are reaching out proactively to make sure they know assistance is available and sharing ways to manage bills throughout the winter."
Equal Payment Program (EPP)
This free service helps customers manage their budgets by eliminating high winter bills. The EPP program levels out a customer's natural gas bills, allowing them to pay a predictable, equal monthly amount to help avoid billing surprises. Piedmont determines this payment by adding up a customer's annual natural gas usage and then dividing it into the same payment amount each month. Learn more here.
Assistance for customers in need
Piedmont is reaching out to customers whose bills are past due through email and/or text with information about utility assistance administered by agencies in their state and local communities. Customers who may not have qualified for assistance in the past may now qualify due to expanded eligibility criteria during the pandemic. Increased levels of assistance also may be available for those who qualified and have already received assistance.
Share the Warmth provides funds to local agencies to assist families with their utility bills, no matter the source of energy they use.
Piedmont says anyone in need should apply for this and other newly available programs to see if they qualify. For detailed federal and state-specific information, go to www.piedmontng.com/winterbills and click on your state.
Low- to no-cost energy saving tips and projects
Natural gas use typically spikes in the winter as customers combat low temperatures to stay warm. Below are tips to help prepare for cold weather and manage your energy use. B-roll of energy-efficiency measures available here.
* Learn how to reduce energy use. The first step to reduce energy use in your home is to identify and prioritize energy-saving improvements. This can be accomplished through a certified auditor or by performing your own energy audit.
* Seal air ducts. Make sure the air ducts from your home's furnace and central air conditioner are properly sealed. Ducts that leak into the attic or crawl space can substantially increase your heating and cooling bills.
* Seal your home. One of the quickest energy-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weather-strip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. This can save 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills.
* Install smart thermostats. Installing a "smart" or programmable thermostat will reduce your energy use while you are asleep or away.
* Manage water heating. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or consider installing an on-demand or tankless water heater that only heats water when you need it.
* Consider insulation. Consider whether you need to add insulation to your ceiling, floors and walls. Insulation between the indoors and outdoors reduces energy demand, saving you money while improving the comfort of your home.
For more information and tips to prepare for winter bills, visit: Winter is coming. Here's what you need to know to prepare.
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