Warmer winters: Don’t get too comfortable

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Warm Winter Rain, photo by Diane Hammond

Homeowners have two reasons to be pleased with this year’s warm winter: less snow removal and lower energy bills.

As we near the end of one of the warmest winters on record, we see that residents across the U.S. are witnessing lower heating fuel costs. The average homeowner is projected to spend only $643 this year for natural gas, compared to $749 last year and $888 in the winter of 2008-2009. Electricity costs are also down.

This is great news.

Homeowners are better able to cope with rising gas prices and the “pain at the pump” as a result of warmer temperatures and lower home heating costs, but I caution homeowners to be wary of this trend. There’s no guarantee that our winters, especially here in New York, won’t return to their typical routine of heavy snowfalls and frigid temperatures.

Instead, I encourage homeowners to seize this rare opportunity to reinvest their energy savings in future savings.

Most Northern Westchester residents qualify for a free comprehensive home energy assessment, which they can sign up for through Energize New York (www.energizeny.org).  That assessment, which uses a blower door test, infrared camera and other assessments tools, will help residents determine where they are losing money to energy inefficiencies and the most effective ways to make efficiency improvements that can save them more than $1,000 a year on future energy bills, regardless of the unpredictable weather.

Don’t miss the opportunity to plan ahead and ensure that all future energy bills are as painless as possible.