Winter Chill eating your wallet?
We all have been feeling the chill of winter as frost settles in the Willamette Valley and snow is capping our neighboring hills and mountains. We all want to keep the chill out but our heating bills may be reflecting our desire for warmth a bit too much! Here are some tips from NW Natural to keeping your heating bills down in these chilly times:
- Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly to help it work at peak efficiency
- Turn the thermostat down to 65-68 degrees during the day to save on heating costs
- Caulk small holes and cracks around vents, ducts, pipes, exhaust fans, fireplaces and under countertops to avoid hot air escaping and cold air from coming in.
- Add weather-stripping to drafty doors and windows
Storm Season Has Arrived!
With fall in full swing and winter approaching, storm season in the southern Willamette Valley is here. Occasionally, these storms come with high winds and rain that bring down trees and branches onto overhead electric lines, resulting in outages.
General steps to take during a power outage:
- Turn off electrical equipment such as computers, TVs and stereos that aren’t guarded with surge protectors.
- Turn down your thermostats. The helps prevent overloads in you neighborhood when the power is restored.
- If you see a downed power line outside, stay away from it and call EWEB (or 911 if the downed line is across a street or sidewalk)
If EWEB is your electric and water provider, these steps can help you in reporting an outage:
- If your lights go out the first thing to do is check your circuit breaker box for tripped circuits or blown fuses. If there are no tripped breakers contact EWEB.
- Here are two convenient methods to reporting outages with EWEB:
- By Phone: Call EWEB’s automated outage reporting line at 1-844-484-2300. The automated system will ask you to input the 10-digit phone associated with you billing address.
- By Text: Simply text the word OUT to TXEWEB (893932). If you text from a mobile phone EWEB does not recognize a prompt will appear for you to confirm a phone number associated with your account.
Identity Theft Safety Tips:
Identity Theft: If your wallet is stolen, notify the credit card company, report them stolen, and have them cancel them. Keep a close eye on your credit card bills, etc., for a while. Suggestion: Take copies of your credit cards front and back and put the copies in a file to have on hand if they are ever stolen. If you are the victim of identity theft:
- Contact any one of the three companies listed here to place a fraud alert on your credit reports. That company will alert the other two. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or Transunion: 1-800-680-7289. Have them send you a free copy of your credit reports. Ask that only the last four digits of your social security number appear on the reports. Review the reports for any questionable debts or erroneous personal data. Have the inaccurate information removed. Monitor your credit reports for at least a year. An initial 90 day alert applies if you suspect you have been, or about to be, the victim of identity theft. A seven (7) year, extended alert applies if you know you have been the victim of identity theft.
- Close accounts that you believe have been tampered with or fraudulently opened. Contact someone in each company’s fraud department. Follow up in writing, by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. Keep originals on file. Use new Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and new passwords with new credit or debit cards. File challenges to fraudulent charges with each company in which you are victimized.
- Call police who have jurisdiction where the identity theft took place and file a report (in Eugene, 541-682-5111). Keep a copy of the report, or the report number on file.
- File a complaint with the Federal trade Commission, at 1-877438-4338 or review more detailed advice at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.