PSC KYFRANKFORT, Ky. (1/7/14) - With a blast of Arctic air covering the state, the Kentucky Public Service Commission says consumers can limit the impact on their home heating bills by taking steps to reduce energy consumption.

"As temperatures plummet, energy usage and home heating bills inevitably rise," PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. "But a few simple steps can help limit the effect."

Since weather - not price - is the dominant factor in determining energy usage, the best weapon consumers have to manage their energy costs is to take steps to reduce consumption, he said. Those measures can be as simple as turning down the thermostat a few degrees, Armstrong said.

"It's also never too late to seal leaks around windows, door and other openings, to cover windows with plastic sheeting, and to take other low-cost steps to keep cold air out and warm air in," Armstrong said.

Armstrong also emphasized that programs are available to help consumers who may be struggling to pay their heating bill. Heating assistance is available from local community action agencies and from utility companies, but funds are limited and sometimes run out during the heating season, he said.

"Do not allow a difficulty in paying a utility bill to become a crisis," Armstrong said. "Now is the time to take the necessary steps if you think that you may need assistance in paying your heating bill this winter."

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 90 employees.

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