NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) announced today that it will extend its February bill credit for residential gas customers next month, saving customers another $40 on their bills for March usage.
The current bill credit of 25 cents per therm, including taxes, will keep the gas supply rate reduced from approximately 54 cents to approximately 29 cents per therm for usage in March. With the bill credit factored in, a typical residential heating customer using 160 therms in March would see a reduction in their one-month bill from $164.97 to $124.97 for a savings of $40 in their supply charges. Depending on meter reading schedules, many customers will see some of the reduction in March with the remainder in their April bills. This savings is in addition to the $40 savings the same typical residential customers received through the company's February bill credit for their February usage.
"This is the third time we have provided a substantial credit for residential gas customers this winter heating season," said Jorge Cardenas, PSE&G vice president of asset management and centralized services. "Since last November, residential gas customers have saved about $133 on their gas usage - and will save another $40 next month." He noted that the bill credits are on top of nine bill decreases that have saved the typical residential customer about $674 - or 39 percent - in supply costs since January 2009.
Cardenas said that PSEG has leveraged its portfolio of gas pipeline transportation and storage agreements to lower gas costs for residential customers. "Although current market prices for gas have increased, we have purchased gas from the nearby Marcellus Shale Formation during the past several months at rates that are below prevailing market prices due to the surplus of supply in the region," he said. "These lower cost supplies have provided a benefit to residential customers. We are required to pass along these savings to our customers and are particularly happy to do so at a time when they are striving to keep winter heating bills affordable."
With cold temperatures expected to return next week, the utility offers some steps customers can take to stay warm and reduce their costs even further.
- Check for sufficient water levels in the sight glass for hot water and steam heating systems to ensure maximum efficiency. Clean or replace the furnace filter on hot air heating systems.
- Lower your thermostat by just one degree, which may reduce your heating bill by up to 3 percent. Save even more by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees during the day and 5 to 10 degrees at bedtime if health conditions permit.
- Close dampers in fireplaces you don't use.
- Purchase and wrap an insulation blanket around the tank of your hot water heater. Wrap the outlet pipe with inexpensive flexible insulating tubing to reduce the time it takes for hot water to reach your shower. Set your hot water heater to no more than 120 degrees.
- Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard element covers. Open any register or baseboard dampers.
- Cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows.
- Use weather stripping or one-sided sticky tape to seal up cracks and prevent drafts in windows and doorframes. Caulk smaller gaps. Beneath doors, install draft guards available at hardware stores.
- Use a shrink film insulation kit on really drafty windows or make one yourself from plastic sheeting and double-faced tape.
- Seal wall switches and electrical outlets with small foam gaskets available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. Remove the cover plate, insert the gasket, and screw the cover plate back in place.
- If you have a door leading outside from your basement, hang a full-size sheet of plastic from the door frame to keep heat from escaping. Seal windows in the basement with plastic to create a barrier against the cold. (Make sure you allow enough air supply to feed your fuel-burning appliances safely.)
- Keep your garage door closed if the garage is attached to the house.
- If your budget permits, install (or have installed) a programmable thermostat that you can set to automatically lower room temperatures when rooms are not in use and also at bedtime if health conditions permit.
- Visit PSE&G's Home Energy Toolkit at www.pseg.com/toolkit. You can calculate the energy efficiency of your home and find out how to save energy and money on appliances and heating systems.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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