Ways to help you stay safe, manage your bill and save energy this winter

Find ways to stay safe during extreme cold weather, tools to manage and save energy and energy assistance options to help you stay on track with payments.

How to weather the storm


Staying safe during extreme weather is important. Here are a few ways you can weather the winter storm.

  • Assemble a storm safety kit including flashlights, extra batteries, medications, first aid kids, extra blankets and more.
  • Make sure your cellphone is fully charged.
  • Don’t use your oven or grill to warm your home.
  • Stay away from low or downed powerlines.
  • Stay off the roads, if possible, to keep roads clear for first responders and restoration workers.

Check out more storm safety tips.

Energy use will likely increase in colder months


In the chilly winter months, the most important thing is to keep you and your family warm and safe. Unfortunately, as temperatures drop, the harder your heating equipment must work to keep you comfortable. It can take a lot of energy. Whether you heat your home with natural gas, electricity or another fuel, your energy use is likely to go up.

Increased energy use can lead to higher bills. To help with the impact on your bill, you can monitor and manage your energy use through My Account. You can also take a free online home energy assessment, leverage energy-saving steps and sign up for ײƵ® Smart Hours.

Monitor and manage your heating bill through My Account


One of the best ways to manage your energy use is through My Account. You’ll be able to:

  • See your usage, down to the hour.
  • Pay your bill or set up a payment arrangement.
  • Spread out a high bill over several months with Budget Billing.
  • Set up high usage alerts.
  • Leverage My Home to better understand your energy use and compare it to similar homes.

Save energy with Smart Hours


On very cold days, demand for energy can spike and make power more expensive for everyone who needs it.

When you enroll your smart thermostat in ײƵ Smart Hours, we automatically reduce your energy use when demand spikes. Smart Hours events may happen up to 15 times each season. We coordinate your energy use with that of thousands of others right when it counts to protect the energy system and keep you comfortable.

You help us keep energy more affordable for everyone. It doesn’t take any extra effort on your part, and you’ll earn rewards at the end of each season you participate!

Get help paying your heating bills with energy assistance options


We know higher energy use in winter can impact your family or business. If you’re struggling financially, there are resources to help pay your heating costs.

Learn more about energy assistance options in your area.

Reduce energy use in the winter with these helpful tips.

house cutout with sunshine
Let in the sunshine.
Open shades and let the sun’s rays warm rooms during the day. Close the shades at night to keep heat in.
smart thermostat
Plan with your family to set it to 68 degrees when you're home and awake, as low as possible to sleep comfortably at night and 10 degrees lower when you’re not home, but don’t go lower than 55 degrees to keep pipes from freezing. Consider a smart thermostat to take out the guess work.
man applying caulk to window
Seal windows and doors. 
Heat escapes and cool air enters through leaks in doors and windows. Consider weather stripping or caulking to stop the leaks. Talk to a contractor if you need help.
man inspecting furnace
Get a furnace tuneup. 
Keep your furnace clean, safe and properly tuned up to reduce energy use.
fireplace
Keep dampers shut.
Woodburning fireplaces lose a lot of energy because chimneys pull heated air out of the house and release it. When not in use, keep the damper closed. Make sure there are no smoldering embers first. 

Do you own a business? Prepare your facility for winter.


To ensure a comfortable indoor environment for your staff, visitors and customers, it's important to prepare your facility.

Check out our preparation tips for businesses to increase comfort. The lower energy bills will keep you feeling warm all winter long.

You can also leverage Energy Analytics, only available through My Account, to identify money-saving opportunities tailored just for your business.

How cold weather affects your home


You may wonder, if your thermostat is always set to the same temperature, why does your bill go up?

Diagram showing that your furnace works harder in colder temps

Here’s what happens. The colder it gets:

  • The faster your home or facility loses heat.
  • The harder the furnace must work to maintain the same temperature.
  • The more gas and electricity the furnace uses, which causes a higher bill.

Temperatures can vary substantially over the 30-day period of the bill. Even a few days of colder temperatures can cause a noticeable impact.

To save money, set your thermostat lower at night and when your home is empty or your facility is closed. That way your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard. A smart thermostat can take out the guess work.

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