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State

CUB: Residents can save on winter heat bills

CHICAGO (AP) – The Citizens Utility Board is urging consumers to conserve energy and participate in efficiency programs offered by utilities after a recent federal report predicted that natural gas bills could jump by 13 percent this winter.

Illinois households use 44 percent more energy than the national average on heating and cooling because of the state’s weather extremes, CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen said. But they could cut energy costs statewide by almost $37 million a year with more energy-efficient furnaces, light bulbs and appliances, and through simple steps such as turning down the thermostat and closing doors in empty rooms, he said.

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