Columbia Gas sets winter demand record
On Saturday, January 6, Columbia Gas of Virginia set a new all-time high in winter natural gas demand, with customers using about 523,000 dekatherms (Dth) of natural gas during a 24-hour period. That exceeded the company’s prior winter peak demand record (set during the so-called “polar vortex” period in February 2015) by about 23,000 Dth.
“Columbia’s ongoing investments in system reliability and employee development truly pay off during times of peak demand, when customers are counting on us to deliver essential natural gas supplies when they need it the most,” Columbia Gas of Virginia President Brent Archer said. “We also know that increased winter demand will lead to higher bills, and we want to help our customers manage those impacts as well.”
Via a special web page at www.ColumbiaGasVA.com/Take-Control, Columbia Gas is reminding customers of a number of ways to aid in their home’s energy efficiency and manage higher winter bills:
Energy and Money-Saving Programs
Columbia Gas customers have access to energy efficiency programs and rebates designed to help manage energy usage, which can lead to bill savings. Some of these programs include:
- Free Home Savings Evaluation – Customers can receive a personalized report with tips on how to save on their energy bills. Qualifying customers who complete their Home Savings Evaluation can receive up to two free energy efficiency kits to kick start their savings.
- Cash-back rebates are available for the purchase and installation of energy saving upgrades such as high-efficiency furnaces, insulation and high-efficiency windows.
A full list of programs and tips to help manage energy use can be found at https://www.WarmWiseVA.com.
Winter Energy Saving Tips
There are a number of low-to-no cost options for customers to save each month, including:
- The biggest way to save is to run your furnace less often. Set your thermostat two to four degrees below what you’re used to. Wear heavier clothing to keep warm. Change your air filters often throughout the season, as dirty filters block air, forcing your furnace to work harder.
- Let the sun in. Utilize the sun’s energy to heat your home simply by opening drapes on windows where the sun shines directly into a room. But when the sun goes down, be sure to close your drapes so they can do the job of insulating.
- Seal up leaks. Use caulk to seal leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. If you find a small gap, seal it up.
- Don’t block registers or radiators with draperies, curtains, furniture or anything else. Let the air flow freely.
- Your water heater is one of the biggest energy users in your home, so use a shower timer. Quick showers usually require less hot water than taking a bath. You can also add a showerhead restrictor, so you waste less.
Billing and Payment Options
Customers who are experiencing difficulties paying their bill are encouraged to call Columbia’s 24-hour Customer Care Center as soon as possible to determine what options might be available to offer help. Some of those solutions include:
- Payment Assistance: Based on income levels, customers may qualify to receive state and federal utility assistance dollars as well as support funds from separate Columbia-supported programs by visiting their local community action agency.
- Budget Plan: A free service to all Columbia customers to help manage their monthly energy bills by spreading out gas costs over an entire year.
- Payment Arrangements: Allows customers to make an initial payment, then spread the remaining unpaid balance over a longer period, plus current bills as they are due.
For more information about billing options and payment assistance, visit www.columbiagasva.com/billing-payment-options.
About Columbia Gas of Virginia
Columbia Gas of Virginia provides natural gas service to more than 264,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, central Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, Lynchburg region and Western Virginia. With headquarters in Chesterfield County, the company is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource, Inc. (NYSE: NI) serving 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers. Always call 811 before you dig and Dig with CARE.