High Bill Help

Cold weather tips and assistance

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Real people. Real solutions.

Sometimes it can be difficult to pay your bills. Especially during the winter season with colder temperatures and longer nights. That’s why we have options and unique ways to help.

It all starts with a phone call. Yes, a phone call may seem a little old fashioned, but we believe that if you talk with us, we’ll be able to better understand your situation and come up with a solution that works for both of us.

Here’s what a recent customer had to say:

“I found myself in extraordinary circumstances, and every person I spoke with was very caring, listening carefully and actually recommending solutions. I’m thrilled to say my experience was beyond belief, and I’m really grateful."

Three things that lead to high bills

Heating your home

Your heater has to work harder in colder temperatures to keep the temperature you want. Use what you need to stay comfortable but remember to turn the heat down when you are sleeping or away. Also, schedule a tune-up for your furnace each year. Here’s some energy saving tips:

Your home needs insulation or weatherization

Insulate and seal air leaks. This alone can make a huge difference. Also look at weatherization options to save energy and increase your comfort. You may even qualify for weatherization assistance.

Thermostats are set high or are inaccurate

Set your thermostat for your comfort. Just remember, turning it up higher doesn’t heat your home faster – it just makes your heater work harder than it may need to.

When you are home, set your thermostat to 68. When you are away or sleeping, set your thermostat to 60.

Check your thermostat accuracy. Use an instant-read cooking thermometer to see if the air temperature matches your setting. If you can, you might want to upgrade to a smart thermostat. You can get a good deal on a new thermostat when you purchase from the PGE Marketplace. We also offer free or low-cost smart thermostats to homes with qualifying heating and/or cooling systems.

Heating unused rooms

If you have baseboard, ceiling or wall heaters, consider turning off the heat to unused rooms (just watch out for mold).

Fireplace dampers/doors left open

Close fireplace dampers and doors when not in use.

Foundation vents uncovered, allowing cold air in

Install foundation vent covers in fall to keep wind and cold from creeping in under your house. Vent covers can also help prevent frozen pipes. Remove them in spring.

Heating your water

Who doesn’t like to take a nice long hot shower in the winter? But with an old or inefficient electric water heater, that’s a lot of energy going down the drain. Throw in some holiday guests, laundry and dish washing and the cost of hot water adds up fast. Consider this energy saving tip:

Lower the water heater temperature

120 degrees is perfect for showers, dishes and laundry. And it’s an easy adjustment to make on your water heater. Here’s some more ways to cut hot water use.

Lighting, appliances & electronics

Lights are often left on longer during darker days. Other familiar culprits that use a lot of energy in the winter months are inefficient holiday lights, new appliances or big screen TVs, leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms and hot tub pump problems or leaving the insulating cover off. Here are some great ways to save:

*Savings will vary based on circumstances

Energy Tracker can help, too

Use our free, online tool for renters and homeowners to see when and how you use electricity, analyze your bill and get a custom savings plan.

Need help?

If you could use a little extra time to pay your bill, or more significant assistance, we’d like to help. Give us a call at 503-228-6322 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.