Experts say families can take steps to reduce their winter heating costs. In Delaware, the state government has unveiled more programs to subsidize living costs for needy households, such as the Delaware Energy Assistance Program funded by the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Through March 31, families with a yearly income of 200 percent or less of the federal poverty line can apply to obtain grants to pay for home heating. Delmarva Power, meanwhile, donates $1 to the Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund for every $3 their customers pay. CCI Fireplace Limited owner Michael Rainwater says a gas fireplace can be used as supplemental heat to reduce a heating bill by 36 percent. “If you zone heat in a house with open rooms, a gas fireplace is going to prevent your thermostat from kicking on,” he says. Delmarva Power spokesman Matt Likovich says if a home has a heat pump, it should be kept at the same temperature at all times. “The first and foremost way in the winter is to keep your thermostat lower than 68 degrees at all times. For every degree you can lower your thermostat under 70, you save at least 3 percent of your heating costs.” He also recommends using fluorescent light bulbs, changing the heating system’s filters once a month, and lowering water heater temperatures from the standard 140 degrees to 130 degrees. | Read More