Mid-Missouri residents may see heating bill decrease

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COLUMBIA - The cold temperatures this week mean more work for heating and cooling companies around the nation.

Jason Kilpack, a technician with Star Heating and Air Conditioning, said Tuesday he expects to stay busy.

"This is just the start. It is going to get a lot busier of course when people get home today after work. If their furnaces ain't working they'll call us, and we'll get it fixed," Kilpack said.

Although some people have held off turning the heat on, there is good news for natural gas users this season. The Missouri Public Service Commission approved a plan by Ameren Missouri that should help lower the bills.

Marty Steffens, a University of Missouri Business and Financial Journalism professor, said this plan should keep prices down. 

"Because Ameren is controlled by the Public Utilities Commission, they negotiate price far in advance, and because of that negotiated contract of a package for them to purchase natural gas, then that relates to the fees that they will charge users," Steffens added.  

Steffens said this deal means the less you use, the less you pay.

Kilpack noted there's another way to save money throughout these cold months.

"Heat usually rises, so most of the heat will escape through the ceilings, so around light fixtures. And, just, if you have poor insulation in your attic, the heat will rise up and it will escape through the roof of the house, so insulation in the attic is extremely important when it comes to heating," Kilpack said. 

Experts said to also check windows and doors for airleaks, which could keep more change in your pocket this winter.