Sunday, January 28, 2001
An Enquirer Special Report
The High Cost of Keeping Warm
Why are heating costs so high? Where can you turn for help? How can you help
to lower your bills? What does the future hold? The Enquirer takes a look in
a special report: |
Heat bills send shivers
January home heating bills, due out soon, could be worse than last month's -- which were double and triple last winter's. And it's only just begun.
How to read your energy bill
Experts at Cinergy Corp. answer some frequently asked questions.
Have questions about the high cost of keeping warm? Questions about ways to conserve energy and save money? Send them to us. We'll ask the experts and report the answers in days to come.
Cinergy sleuths find ways to save
Twelve energy auditors inspect 5,000 Tristate homes each year for Cinergy Corp. customers. A free, 90-minute, basement-to-attic inspection will find clues to faulty heating and cooling systems and house construction that could save homeowners money.
Agency helps renters save on heat costs
Tenants who pay their utilities are eligible for the same federal cash assistance as homeowners. If their landlords agree, they also can get help with insulation.
The good news: stable electric rates
In the midst of this winter's skyrocketing natural gas costs, there's at least some good news on the other half of the monthly utility bill: electric rates.
The Britton/Bourke home
"They call me the Simon Legree of heat around here sometimes," jokes Mr. Britton, 41, referring to the villainous character from Uncle Tom's Cabin.
The Ehrstine/Koss home
Bill Ehrstine and Kim Koss' marriage sometimes runs hot and cold ‹ most often during winter.
Helen and Ray Evans like a warm room. They always keep the thermostat at 72 degrees, and with this winter's cold, they're also wearing shirts on top of shirts, as Mrs. Evans puts it.
The Fischer home
For the Fischers, warmth has always been about comfort, not cost. Until now.
The Hess/Ziegenhardt home
Brian Hess thought he'd done everything right before buying his first home. Then came his $217 December bill.
The Smithermans home
Smitherman is only half-joking when she advises winter guests to wear long johns.
Her historic, stately home isn't very cozy.