Columbia Gas of Ohio has new plan to help with heating bills

Reported by Jennifer Boresz email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - For now, natural gas prices are down a bit, but there's no telling what will happen when the cold weather shivers in.

If you're worried about paying your heating bill, now's the time to act, says Chris Kozak with Columbia Gas of Ohio.

"We want to hear from people as soon as possible if they're going to have an issue," Kozak said. "We have a number of payment plans we can set them up on. A number of places we can point them to to get assistance. We never want to shut someone off -- that's always our last resort."

Indeed, many are worrying.

"It will be very tough because I live in an older house and generally in the winter our heating bills are close to $300 a month," said Lori Smigielski.

According to Columbia Gas, using a programmable thermostat can actually save you 10 percent on your heating bill, and, starting in January, the company is going to offer a new program that could save you even more.

The 3-year, $40 million program is expected to save customers $100 million across the state and will also reduce the overall carbon footprint in Ohio. Over the next few months, Columbia Gas will release more information about the program.

But until then, customers say they will do whatever it takes to keep the costs down.