GRIMES, Iowa — May 24, 2022 — Black Hills Energy knows customer bills and energy usage are topics of conversation in Iowa communities. Energy costs are a national issue and are caused by a combination of factors – including the increased costs to purchase natural gas, the recovery of costs associated with the Polar Vortex in February 2021, and market forces affecting supply and demand.
“The price of natural gas is much higher this year due to several market factors, resulting in higher bills for customers,” said Shirley Welte, Black Hills Energy Iowa Vice President of Operations. “Natural gas costs are a pass-through cost, meaning we don’t profit from the cost going up or down.
Here are five actions to take control of your energy bills this spring and summer:
- Set your water heater to 120*F: Lowering the temperature on your water heater can save a considerable amount of energy. You won’t notice in the shower, but you’ll see the difference on your energy bill.
- Cook or bake food dishes at the same time: Take advantage of the energy that goes into heating up the oven fewer times, plus use less energy. Don’t open the oven door unless you need to! Ovens lose about 25 degrees each time you open the oven door, so use the oven light and window to check on your food — this will also help keep your kitchen cooler while cooking.
- Run complete loads of laundry and dishes: Do this to avoid using more hot water than necessary or consider using cold water, when possible. Lastly, avoid running these heat-producing appliances during the hottest times of the day to reduce the amount of heat flowing through your home.
- Replace weather-stripping: Focus on the areas around doors and windows and seal any holes or gaps to help reduce energy waste and keep the cool air in and hot air out. Don’t forget the garage and electric outlets!
- Clean or replace dirty air filters every three months: Clogged or dirty air filters make your HVAC system work harder, using more energy. Plus, remember to have your air conditioner and furnace serviced regularly. The start of the summer cooling season is a good time to do this.
“We know changes to monthly bills can have an impact on the household budget and we’re here to help,” said Welte. “As the weather warms, maintaining control over and even reducing your energy usage can help lower energy bills and help you create a more energy-efficient home.”
If you need help paying your energy bills, contact the Black Hills Energy customer service team by calling 888-890-5554 or visit blackhillsenergy.com/assistance-programs. The company has several options available to support customers, including making payment arrangements, budget billing and energy assistance programs.
For more ways to reduce wasted energy and for details about our energy efficiency programs, visit www.energy-ready.com.