As home heating season approaches, the utility company is also offering a new rebate on energy efficient home furnaces. YNN's Geoff Redick reports.
CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- It's the annual ritual in the Capital Region: Getting the furnace checked or repaired before the snow flies.
"There's a lot of stuff we can do on a maintenance call that will take care of you through the winter," Ben Benkoski told YNN Monday.
Benkoski is a technician for Family Danz Heating and Air Conditioning and says his furnace repair calls are beginning to tick up sharply. But he prefers the heavy workload right now.
"That will have you not calling me in a state of emergency, when you have no heat," Benkoski said.
On Monday, Benkoski worked at the home of Joseph Burns in Albany. Burns had switched on his furnace days ago just to make sure everything was working, but it didn't turn on. Benkoski says that's a common problem with a relatively simple fix. What's not so simple is reconciling oneself with the energy bill that comes each winter.
"Believe me. In the winter, it does get pretty expensive," Joseph Burns told YNN as his furnace was being prepared.
But the cost is set to see a nine percent decrease this year, at least for National Grid natural gas consumers. The company announced Monday that due to a long list of factors, they are able to pass an average of $60 in savings along to their customers.
"Coupled with the supply being more plentiful, we've had some mild weather too," noted National Grid regional director William Flaherty. "Last winter was a fairly mild one, so that keeps home use down and that impacts prices as well."
Over the past five years, Flaherty says National Grid's natural gas price for consumers has dropped a total of 35 percent.
To save even more money, home heating professionals recommend taking the normal steps to seal up drafts in your house. Use proper caulking on windows, adequately insulate your exterior walls and roof or attic and invest in energy efficient windows, storm doors and exterior siding.
Joseph Burns says since he replaced all of those items three years ago.
"I've seen my heating bills go down dramatically," he said.