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Power To Save: Warm December = Big Heating Bill Savings

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PECKVILLE -- The cold may be here now, but many people getting their heating bills for last month are seeing some major savings.

The record warm December, and lower oil and natural gas costs, meant bills were cut in half or more.

With the late arrival of the cold, business is just starting to pick up again for Santarelli and Sons Heating Oil deliveries.

But it was a slow couple months for those delivery drivers. With all the warm weather, people just weren't using much heat -- or oil.

"Until the last two weeks, it was slow. It was a slow winter for us," said Ken Santarelli.

This year was the total opposite of last winter when furnaces seemed to go nonstop; oil use was way up.

Plus, last year, people getting oil for heat were paying a dollar more a gallon than they are now.

From his office in Peckville, Ken Santarelli says the savings so far this year are more than 50 percent.

"The price is in half, the consumption is in half, so the consumers are saving a lot of money on heat."

People who heat their homes with natural gas saved a lot last month, too. UGI says customers saved nearly 50 percent because it was so warm and natural gas prices are lower.

"Definitely the heating bills, they are smaller than they were in previous years, that’s for sure," said Bob Nicholas.

Nicholas was shoveling outside his house in Dunmore. Now that winter has arrived, he'll take the late start to the cold and the extra money in his wallet.

UGI gave us some numbers to show the savings for the average home using natural gas.

The bills for December 2014 were around $158 dollars.

The bills for December 2015 were around $84 dollars. That's a 47 percent savings.

"I'm glad that it held off until now, so it's probably not going to be as long. Hopefully spring will come sooner and we'll be in business," said Mike Stemski of Dunmore.

Stremski joins his neighbor Nicholas hoping this ends up a low-cost heating winter overall.

"But it's not over yet," he said. "You can bet on six or seven weeks."

At least it started with savings.