Receiving our electric bills during the winter can cause a shock, especially for those in the northernmost states. Although the cold months may wreak havoc on your wallets, there are precautions you can take to avoid the pain and save a little money. 

Here are a few tips for how to be proactive in lowering your electricity consumption — and your electric bill.  

1.       Pay attention to your bill. Read over your bill to understand exactly what you’re paying for and where efficiencies can be made. 

2.       Be mindful of which rooms need to be heated. If you don’t use a room often, there’s no need to waste heat on it. To use less energy, close the vents to keep heat in the parts of the house you’re using. 

3.       Turn the heat down when you’re not home or sleeping. When you know you won’t need the heat, go ahead and turn it down. If you can, set your thermostat to automatically shut on and off. That works even better! 

4.       Layer up. If you can stand your heat being set a little lower, throw on some extra layers – socks, sweater and blankets will allow you to turn the heat down a few degrees. 

5.       Cover the drafts. Find the drafts in your home and cover them up. Check doors and windows especially. That way heat stays in and cold stays out. 

6.       Unplug the appliances you don’t need. This is a plan you can apply all year. If you aren’t using an appliance, unplug it to save the electricity, especially items like chargers that are plugged in while not in use.  

You can keep your home cozy and warm without breaking the bank if you’re strategic about keeping energy use low and making changes where you can!