Preparing for the Rising Cost of Energy and Battling Pricing Shock
The rising cost of energy is currently one of the hottest topics in the country. Millions of households now face an even greater struggle to manage their finances as their energy bills skyrocket. Across the board, energy prices are rising in ways we have not seen before – from gasoline to propane to natural gas and heating oil. The change in price is significant, unpredictable, and impacting all of us.
Following a winter in which families experienced even higher costs than in recent years due to price hikes across the energy market and cold temperatures, the cost of home heating is on the minds of homeowners. Issues with home heating and related residential energy consumption will continue for years to come. Now is the moment to take control of the situation.
A quick look at the energy market
It’s fair to say that the current state of the energy market makes for pessimistic reading. The EIA report shows that residential electricity rose by 4.3% in 2021 to a cost of 13.72 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). While this is in line with the general rate of inflation on the Consumer Price Index, it does signal the biggest year-on-year increase since 2008.
Home heating costs climbed by over 50% for many households this past winter. Propane gas supply contracts for both summer and winter have already increased dramatically in cost.
Whether you’re in the 40% of households who face financial difficulties or not, there is no time to waste in the battle to get home heating and energy costs under control. There are three main areas to focus on – the energy source, the home’s efficiency, and how you use the property.
Select the right energy source
Perhaps the most important step in the battle to control your energy cost is to choose the right energy source. While the above-mentioned studies show households that are primarily heated by propane have been the biggest losers during the price hikes, it is still the most efficient solution compared to natural gas heating and other heating choices.
Considered a greener fuel than natural gas both before and after, Propane gas is the perfect choice for environmentally-conscious homeowners. Storing the fuel in tanks rather than relying on pipework can have benefits too.
While it remains cheaper than the alternatives, anyone using propane (or upgrading to it) must acknowledge the price hikes if they want to avoid financial strains. Therefore, it is essential to get your propane from the right supplier and find a residential plan that gives you the best value for money.
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Manage your energy bill with Franger Gas
Franger Gas delivers quality propane to residential and commercial properties throughout Indiana. We also offer wholesale fuel solutions, although the most effective option for controlling your energy cost is our Guaranteed Price Program service.
The program runs from May 1 to April 30 each year. We offer GPP to residential customers who are up to date with their current plan payments. What does this mean for you? You pay a set fee for your energy each month while your actual energy usage is calculated at the end of the year – Franger Gas then uses those figures to set your pricing plan for the month ahead. Franger’s GPP actively saves our customers money, up to 20c per gallon and it protects you against further price hikes over the year. Other benefits gained from this program include;
- No nasty surprises, making it far easier to manage your home heating costs.
- Pay the same amount each month, removing the seasonal winter increase.
- Get your fuel automatically refilled through our Auto-Fill service.
In short, this solution saves time and money throughout the year. Despite the increase in propane costs, budget billing programs such as our Guaranteed Price Program help you manage your heating costs.
Make the necessary home upgrades
Getting the right fuel source is a great starting point that will ensure that the propane gas used costs less money. However, you should additionally try to overcome the current challenges of the energy market by using less energy.
Some home upgrades will require an initial expense but can save money in the long run while others are very affordable, to begin with. Try these ideas to see big improvements;
- Invest in thicker windows and better roofing insulation to cut energy loss.
- Invest in an efficient boiler and cover any radiator pipes to reduce heat loss.
- Choose a smart thermostat that can deliver automated savings.
- Clean the filters on HVACs and furnaces at least once per month.
- Insulate the walls and floors and use ceiling fans to circulate heat.
Some of the jobs will additionally add value to the property as well as boosting your levels of comfort.
Change your Energy-Use Habits
Habitual changes have always been important in the effort to lower energy costs. However, families have become more accustomed to spending time at home throughout the pandemic, which makes our daily habits even more important to consider.
With the average home spending in excess of $2,000 per year on household utilities, the following checklist is helpful;
- Always close the doors of any room that you are heating to prevent energy loss and drafts.
- Always turn electronic items like TVs off at night rather than putting them on standby.
- Save up to 15% of your home heating bill by reducing the daytime thermostat temperature by 10 degrees.
- Keep drapes on south-facing windows open in the day to let heat in, and closed at night to keep it in.
- Monitor the time you spend in the shower or use shallow baths.
While most of the steps focus on home heating, it is wise to think about water and electricity usage too. When you do, the savings will be much larger.
The final word on energy costs
There is very little you can do to stop the overall cost of energy from rising. However, switching to the right heating source and delivery program can help you minimize financial uncertainty. When supported by household changes and adjustments to our daily habits, you can make your energy work harder for you.
At Franger Gas, we are constantly monitoring the energy market and how it is impacting our customers.
We encourage every one of our customers to take advantage of our Guaranteed Price Program for peace of mind and predictability. Contact Franger Gas to enroll today!