Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Oct 13, 2005
Governor urges Hoosiers to prepare for winter
INDIANAPOLIS (October 13, 2005) – With the upcoming winter heating season expected to be very expensive, Governor Mitch Daniels visited an Indianapolis home this afternoon to emphasize the many ways in which Hoosiers can cut their energy bills

INDIANAPOLIS (October 13, 2005) – With the upcoming winter heating season expected to be very expensive, Governor Mitch Daniels visited an Indianapolis home this afternoon to emphasize the many ways in which Hoosiers can cut their energy bills.


Major natural gas utilities in Indiana have projected that average residential heating bills could be substantially higher than last year, if temperatures are normal. The increase in gas bills is expected because of rising wholesale natural gas prices, which are not set by local utilities. Wholesale natural gas prices have more than doubled compared to last year because of rising demand for the clean-burning fuel and interruptions in gas supply caused by damage to energy infrastructure from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Indiana utilities are allowed to pass dollar-for-dollar gas costs through to customers following state review and approval.


“This is a very serious situation for Hoosiers at all income levels, and the need to weatherize homes and businesses is greater than it has ever been,” said Governor Daniels. “If you take steps to reduce your energy usage, you can trim dollars and cents off your bills. We should all be aware of these steps and be taking action now.”


The governor spoke at the home of Edward and Vickie Daudy, who expect their heating bill to be reduced by about 40 percent this winter because of improvements that are now underway. The Daudy’s home is being weatherized through a program sponsored by Community Action of Greater Indianapolis, Citizens Gas and Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL). The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) will distribute approximately $11 million in state and federal funds to Community Action Agencies throughout Indiana for weatherization activities. Citizens Gas will spend about $600,000 this year to weatherize 200 low-income homes in Indianapolis.


“I strongly urge Hoosiers to consider budget billing programs offered by their local utilities. These programs will spread your energy costs out over the long term and provide predictability on your winter bills,” said the governor.


Customers who find themselves getting behind on energy bills this winter are urged to contact their local utilities as soon as possible to work out payment arrangements. Also, the state’s Energy Assistance Program will begin accepting applications in November, with funds being distributed by local Community Action Agencies on a first-come, first-served basis. The governor also recommends that people donate to their utilities’ winter heating assistance charities if they are able.


The governor was joined today by Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Susan L. Macey, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Chairman David Lott Hardy, leaders from FSSA, and executives from the state’s three largest natural gas utilities. Other events to promote weatherization are being held throughout the state this month, and customers are urged to read additional information that will be included in most October natural gas bills. Additional information on weatherization and budget billing is available from the Web sites of utilities and state agencies, as noted below.


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Weatherization tips:

·          Make sure your home or business has proper insulation.

·          Properly maintain your heating system (including changing the filter regularly).

·          Use a programmable thermostat (or turn the temperature down a few degrees during bedtime and when the home or business is unoccupied).

·          Check weather stripping, caulk and seals and make needed repairs.

·          Make sure furnace ducts are properly sealed.

·          Insulate your water heater (if the manufacturer's instructions allow).

·          Purchase and use appliances with the Energy Star label.

·          Wear appropriate winter clothing and adjust your thermostat accordingly.

·          Take additional small steps to improve efficiency (such as opening draperies during the day but closing them at night and setting ceiling fans to run clockwise during winter).


For more information on energy efficiency and/or budget billing:

·          Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC): or 1-888-441-2494.

·          Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC):

·          U.S. Department of Energy: or 1-800-363-3732; an insulation fact sheet is available at

·          Your local natural gas utility.


For low-income billing and weatherization assistance:

·          Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, or 1-800-622-4973 (for contact information for local Community Action Agencies)


Insulation deduction on state income taxes:

·          Indiana Department of Revenue: IT-40 booklet, page 12,



Media Contacts:
Jane Jankowski, Office of the Governor, 317/232-1622,

Vicki Duncan Gardner, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, 317/232-4789,

Anthony Swinger, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), 317/233-2747,

Mary Beth Fisher, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), 317/232-2297,

Brian Carnes, Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA), 317/233-2798,

Dan Considine, Citizens Gas, 317/407-9254,

Mike Roeder, Vectren, 812/491-4143,

Tom Cuddy, NIPSCO, 219/647-6556,