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As temperatures drop, find out how to save money on your energy bill

According to Benton PUD officials, power bills can increase 10 to 50 percent in the winter.

As temperatures outside take a tumble, energy consumers are adjusting their thermostats inside higher.

That means their energy bills are sure to go up, too.

It's a never ending cycle and it's one that Benton PUD Manager of Communications and Governmental Relations Karen Miller is familiar with: “This time of year when the weather gets cold and all of the activity that the holidays bring, your power use does go up in your home or apartment."

According to Miller, power bills can increase 10 to 50 percent in the winter.

It's mostly because heaters work harder, but other factors can be because customers use lights more often now that it's dark earlier and because visiting holiday guests use more electricity.

"During the holidays, you have more people at home and you're cooking more, so your home runs a little warmer.”

“Turn down that thermostat a couple of degrees will really help so that your furnace isn't working as hard.”

Miller says you should also track your energy usage and turn down off lights and electronics when you're not using them.

There are also other ways to save heat that can be found at hardware stores.

Griggs Department Store manager CJ Grigg says the most common options to keep heat in is to use a window insulation kit, as well as a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature during the day.

He adds, "Having a heater in one room versus heating an entire house is going to cost significantly less than the whole house. It's going to help with that electric bill at the end of the month.”

However, even with energy tips, paying the bills can still be a struggle for some.

"Sometimes people will have a tough time and bills are higher in December and they need some help in January and we're glad we have this Helping Hands Program,” says Miller.

Benton PUD recently started offering energy savings kits to customers who decide to donate to the program. They can donate at least one dollar each month or donate one time at least $20.

To learn more about the Helping Hands Program, click here.

Franklin PUD is also hosting Winter Weatherization Workshops in January. More information can be found here.

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