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Tips to survive high costs of winter heating

Columbia Gas says budget plans, weatherization, energy assistance can help

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — Columbia Gas of Kentucky is encouraging customers to takes steps now to prepare for winter heating season. Budget payment plans, weatherization programs and various forms of energy assistance are available to help customers of varying income levels be prepared for the colder months ahead.

heating assistanceHere are some tips for combating high winter costs:

  • Take Advantage of the Budget Payment Plan: Although the ‘budget year’ begins in May, customers can join the plan at any time. To enroll call Columbia Gas of Kentucky’s Customer Contact Center at 800-432-9345 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
  • Be Aware of Application Dates for Energy Assistance: The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal energy assistance program which helps more than 250,000 Kentuckians each year, is administered on a local level by Community Action agencies. Applications are accepted from Nov. 3 through Dec. 11. To find out eligibility for assistance programs, customers should call their local community action agency or visit www.capky.org.
  • Request a FREE Home Energy Checkup: A one-hour home energy checkup can provide residential customers with suggestions on how to weatherize their homes to save energy and money. From added insulation to sealing gaps where warm air is escaping, small projects now can mean savings later. Visit columbiagasky.com/checkup or call 800-300-8709 to request a Home Energy Checkup.
  • Get Rebates on High-Efficiency Equipment: Rebates of up to $400 are available on a variety of high-efficiency natural gas heating, water heating and fireplace equipment. Details and rebate applications are available at columbiagasky.com/rebate.
  • Plan for Preventative Furnace Maintenance: Columbia Gas recommends that customers have their furnaces inspected by a qualified professional each year to ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently and replace furnace filters monthly. Low-income residential customers may qualify for a free furnace replacement. Columbia Gas partners with Community Action Council and its weatherization program to provide free furnace replacements for qualifying homeowners. To determine if they are eligible for a free furnace replacement and to register for the weatherization program, customers should call Community Action Council at 800-244-2275.
  • Need Help? Ask: Customers experiencing difficulty paying winter heating bills should notify Columbia Gas as soon as possible, rather than risk possible termination of service. Experienced representatives at the company’s Customer Contact Center can establish payment plans and direct customers to possible forms of energy assistance that may be available to them. The Customer Contact Center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday at 800-432-9345.