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PUC Reminds Consumers to Prepare for Cold Weather; Use Safe Heating Practices

PUC Reminds Consumers to Prepare for Cold Weather; Use Safe Heating Practices


January 06, 2014

HARRISBURG – With dangerously cold temperatures forecasted for many areas of the state this week, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is reminding consumers to review cold weather heating tips and to prepare accordingly.

Severe cold temperatures put extra demands on utility systems, but energy conservation helps. Try these energy-saving tips:

  • Instead of turning up the heat, add an extra blanket or sweater, if your health permits.
  • Use a programmable thermostat and set it to lower the temperature at night or whenever the house is unoccupied.
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. This includes overhead doors on attached garages.
  • Seal off unused rooms. Close the floor or wall registers and return air vents, and keep the doors closed in those areas.
  • Open south-facing window curtains, drapes and blinds during the day. Close coverings at night to keep the heat in.
  • Weatherstrip and caulk windows.

For additional energy conservation tips, visit the PUC website.

According to the United States Fire Administration, more than one-fifth of residential fires are related to the use of supplemental room heaters, including wood- and coal-burning stoves, kerosene heaters, gas space heaters and electric heaters, so before you put logs on the fireplace or plug in the electric heater, take some precautions. Also, never use an oven or stove to help heat your home. For a list of home heating safety tips, visit the PUC website.

Residents are reminded to check on neighbors, especially the elderly. If someone is without heat-related utility service, help them call their local utility to obtain information about programs available to help them restore and maintain utility service. Consumers with a seriously ill resident in the house or a protection from abuse order may have additional options for service restoration. Consumers should call their utility first. If they are unable to reach an agreement with the utility, the PUC may be able to provide assistance. The PUC can be reached toll-free at 1-800-692-7380.

Since October, the PUC has been reminding consumers to “Prepare Now” for high energy costs this winter. Learn about changes in the law related to utility shut-offs and know your rights. Save money by learning how to conserve energy. Heat your home safely. Explore budget billing options. Look into programs that help low-income customers restore and maintain service. Visit www.puc.pa.gov, and click on “Prepare Now” or call the PUC at 1-800-692-7380.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov . Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” PAPowerSwitch on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.

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