KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Regardless of how your home is heated, expect higher bills this winter. The price of propane, electricity and natural gas is expected to rise as the temperature dips lower.
Natural gas costs are specifically expected to rise around 28% compared to 2021, according to Veronica Andrews. She is a customer counselor at the Knoxville Utilities Board and said customers should expect higher bills this year. Help is also available.
"Those bills can get pretty high, depending on the temperatures outside," she said.
She also said that customers should aim to keep their thermostats at around 68 degrees or under. As a rule of thumb, she said every degree customers lower the temperature during weather from 68 degrees amounts to around a 3% savings.
However, KUB is also working with community organizations to make sure people are able to heat their homes. They are working with the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee to keep customers from falling behind on their bills.
The CAC has a low-income heating assistance program, otherwise called LIHEAP. Through the program, applicants can find help with their bills one time a year, between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. The assistance can be applied to a current or past-due utility bill.
A household of one person can make up to $26,469 per year to be eligible. Two people can make up to $34,613, with increasing annual income levels for larger household sizes. Anyone interested in the program can apply online.
KUB customers can also sign up for their Levelized Billing Plan, which keeps bills more level regardless of the temperature outside. Instead of paying more in the winter and less in the spring, for example, the program recalculates payments each month based on a customer's last 12 months of energy use history.