Delmarva offers options as bills soar during period of cold weather

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With sharply higher electric bills making their way to mailboxes, Delmarva Power is offering options on conserving energy and getting assistance if needed.

Delmarva serves a large portion of Delaware. Exceptions include areas served by municipal utilities such as Middletown, Lewes and Newark and the territory of Delaware Electric Cooperative.

Delmarva Power also provides natural gas service in much of New Castle County.

Programs include:

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).Utility customers in Delaware and Maryland can submit LIHEAP applications now to secure their grant, which can provide $1,000 or more toward their energy bill. Homeowners, renters, roomers and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible.Customers can apply for LIHEAP throughMarch 31, 2018 in DelawareandJune 30, 2018in Maryland.Delaware customers can get more information by visiting:dhss.delaware.gov/dssc/liheap.html.
  • Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program.This program helps homeowners and renters cut their energy bills by weatherproofing and improving the energy efficiency of their homes. To learn more, visit:dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/energy-climate/sustainable-communities/weatherization/.
  • Good Neighbor Energy Fund.Delmarva Power partners with the Salvation Army to offer energy assistance to low-income customers through the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. To learn more, visit:https://www.delmarva.com/MyAccount/CustomerSupport

Delmarva Power says it will work with customers who may have difficulty in paying their electric bill. The company offers payment options, like budget billing, which averages payments over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly electricity costs, orflexible payment arrangementsthat offer customers individually tailored payment installment plans.

Online payment systems operated by financial institutions also offer the opportunity to make level monthly payments with surpluses used when bills go up in the summer and winter.

Customers who may be struggling to make a payment are asked to contact Delmarva Power at 800-375-7117.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts that January through March 2018 will still be warmer than average despite the frigid start, a Delmarva release stated.

This creates potential opportunities for customers to save energy and balance against periods of higher use by following these simple energy-saving tips:

  • Adjust Your Thermostat Temperature Down: When you are at home and awake, set your thermostat as low as it is comfortable for you. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat down 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10 percent a year on your heating bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
  • Lower Your Water Heating Costs: Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) and save.
  • Most of your cold weather energy expenses are related to heating your home. Schedule service for your heating system to find out what maintenance is required to keep your system operating efficiently.
  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and then close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • Use Your Ceiling Fan:You can reverse the motor and airflow direction of some ceiling fans to operate the fan year-round. In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan clockwise at low speed to produce a gentle updraft that forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.
  • Use Energy Efficient Lighting: Install efficient LED bulbs to reduce lighting costs year-round.
  • Quick Home Energy Check-up: This is a fast, easy and free way to increase the energy efficiency of your home and help you start saving immediately. When you schedule a Check-up, an energy efficiency professional will come to your home and identify simple ways to help you save money and energy. Visithomeenergysavings.delmarva.com/quick-home-energy-check-up-programto schedule.
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