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Many households sign up for so-called “budget plans” with local utility companies to spread the cost of heating bills over a 12-month period. But if you opt for budget billing, you may be giving your power company an interest-free loan, because the company is billing you for estimated rather than actual usage. If you're frugal with your energy usage, it is more cost-effective to pay as you go, so you're charged only for the energy you actually use.
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