- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Public Service Commission officials say now is the time for consumers to being preparing for winter heating issues and associated costs.

Commission Chairman Chuck Eaton says consumers should ensure their homes and heating systems are ready for cold weather to avoid being faced with longer waits for service and higher prices after the temperatures drop.

Officials say consumers should have heating systems checked yearly, replace older thermostats with new digital ones, winterize homes to avoid air leaks, insulate pipes and more.

Commissioner Tim Echols says senior citizen homeowners living at 150% of the poverty level may also qualify for a replacement gas hot water heater or furnace.

Commissioners also urge consumers to consider budget billing programs ahead of higher winter heating costs.

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