6 Ways to Stay Warm without Wasting Energy or Money

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, from September 2012 to September 2013 the average cost of electricity has increased more than two percent in 29 states and Washington D.C. Even if some states have a more mild winter, lowering your monthly bill in any state is beneficial.

In addition to finding your cheapest electricity supplier, the following tips can help lower your electric bill:

1. Close vents and doors in unused rooms. If there are rooms in your house that aren’t used daily, close the air vent to those rooms and seal off the rest of the room. Closing the air vent and keeping the door shut will cause the temperature in the room to drop as you won’t be heating it, and also cause you to save on the heating you were paying for that room.

2. Wear thick socks or heavy slippers. Feet are one of the first body parts to turn cold, so be proactive with wool socks or slippers with a rubber sole. Taller socks keep more of your leg warm, and the rubber sole keeps your feet from feeling cool tile or hardwood floors.

3. Lower the thermostat when no one is around. Before leaving for work, turn down your thermostat to keep the heat from running all day. No one is home to benefit from the heat, so you turn it down to save on energy costs.

4. Keep hot drinks around. A morning cup of coffee will help to raise your internal body temperature, and for those non-caffeine drinkers there is decaf coffee and hot tea. Hot tea comes in countless flavors, from fruity to minty to herbal. Other alternatives include hot chocolate or hot cider.

5. Use the sun. Open and close your blinds to let the sun in and naturally warm your house. South-facing windows should be opened during the day to maximize the direct sunlight, and then closed at night

6. Warm the bed. There are several methods you can use to heat up your bed before calling it a night. You can use an electric blanket or heating pad under the top blanket, or even a small space heater just for the bedroom. You can also fill a water bottle with hot water and put it under the covers to warm your feet, or put rice in a fleece cover, then microwave and put under the covers.

These methods will help reduce the electric bill, and keep you cozy. Commercial energy prices may rise and fall, but saving a few extra dollars here and there is always helpful. You can also use Star Energy Partners’s eCAP program to find competitive rates for electricity suppliers in your area.