Home Heating Costs Going Up

9-27-05 - A cold front expected to move in this week could provide a little taste of what could be a costly winter if you want to stay warm.

It?s just another effect the recent hurricanes will have months after their fury. The cost of energy is on its way up. That may not be a problem now, but as we head into winter and the days start to turn colder, flipping the switch on the heater may become a last resort.

As is the case with most energy companies, TXU is raising their rates for customers. That price hike, which will take effect in November, will mean about a 12% increase from pre-Katrina levels on energy bills. OG&E also filed way back in May to raise rates in Oklahoma.

Obviously, that will be enough to make people stingy about turning on the heat, something the government was asking them to do anyway. But that?s where local hardware stores are stepping in.

Free clinics are being offered on how to keep your home as warm as possible without using up energy at stores like Lowe?s. It?s all about sealing up, keeping the warm air in and the frost out.

"Weather stripping will seal up any leaks or small cracks that allow air to come in and out,? Chris Chun, Lowe?s store manager in Sherman, said.

Lowe?s is offering these free clinics every Saturday at every store nationwide in the month of October. Other hardware stores and lumber companies are doing the same.

October is energy awareness month, and this year folks might want to pay attention if they want to save some dough.