Chances are your December heating bill is higher after a run of cold weather, leading to some sticker shock. Rob Hillesland, a spokesman for the Iowa Utilities Board, says there is a way to avoid those big jumps.
Hillesland says you can manage the monthly billing by contacting your utility and arranging a level payment plan. He says some call it a level billing plan, while others call it a budget billing plan, but either way, it spreads your payments out over the course of a billing year.
Hillesland says the plans don’t save you any money, they just provide predictability. He says customers still pay for the energy that’s actually used, and the plan is evaluated and adjusted. Hillesland says it is helpful for low income people, or if you like the idea of having set heating budget. Hillesland says you can work with your utility company to determine how often you want to review the plan.
Reviewing the plan too often defeats the purpose, but he says you want to find a payment level where you don’t have a large payment due, or a large credit at the end of the year. Hillesland says your utility bill has a number you can call to find out more about a billing plan. He says you should also contact the utility and use them as an energy efficiency resource, as he says there are a lot of rebate programs available. For more information, contact the Iowa Utilities Board or go to their website.