Unusually warm fall brings lower heating bills


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — People across mid-Michigan are taking advantage of this warm fall, spending more time outside and saving money on things like home heating.

6 News talked with Jim Barnes of Jackson as he was cleaning up leaves in his yard Wednesday morning.

While it’s a job that has to be done, Barnes says the chore is made easier by this unusual weather.

“We’re enjoying the warmth, no doubt about it,” Barnes said.

His family is also enjoying a break from their heating bill.

“We’re not using much fuel right now, so it’s a blessing. You don’t get raises when we’re retired so whatever we can save, we’re more than happy,” Barnes said.

Consumers Energy says it’s too early to tell how this warm fall is impacting usage.

“We’ll get a good sense in a month or so how things are looking,” said Consumers Energy Spokesperson Brian Wheeler.

However, it’s clear that higher temperatures mean lower bills.

“If your bill is typically around $100-150 over the course of a month, you could see savings of $10, $20 a month or it could be more depending on the season,” Wheeler said.

But don’t expect this warm spell to last.

The National Weather Service says wacky weather may be the theme this winter.

Meteorologists predict a warm November and December, and then a blast of cold and snow from January to March.

Despite the pleasant weather, Consumers Energy says now is the time to prepare.

You can do that by sealing up windows and doors, and making sure your furnace is ready to go.

“One piece of good news is that the price of the gas that we provide is historically low. The gas price we charge is 10 percent lower than it was a year ago. So it’s a good running start for people,” Wheeler said.

Consumers says special funds are set aside this winter for people who need help paying for heat.

Call 211 to get connected with these services.

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