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Setting the thermostat to save money

By Kelsie Hoitomt

With the extreme cold weather and the Canadian pipeline bursting, natural gas companies recently asked homeowners, businesses, schools, etc. to drop their temperature down to 60 degrees.

According to CenterPoint Energy, a company that serves Minnesota and a handful of other states, customers should expect last month’s bill to be 35-50 percent higher because of the record cold.

As for Xcel Energy customers, they are expected to see an increase as well as most will use 14 percent more natural gas this January compared to a year ago.

According to the Department of Energy, people can save one percent on their heating bill for every degree that is dropped on the thermostat.

Those who drop their temperature for at least six to eight hours will see the best results in the amount saved.

CenterPoint Energy recommended dropping the temperature from 68 degrees to 58 degrees for at least four hours or overnight while you sleep, and can save an average of ten percent on the bill.

However, in extreme temperatures, caution is advised when playing with the thermostat because of the risk of frozen or burst water lines.