(WKBN)- We’ve seen temperatures in the teens lately, and we’re watching for a winter storm.

So it’s no surprise a lot of people might have their heat up a little higher. And it’s going to show on their energy bill.

But there’s some ways to still stay warm, and not cost you as much.

One of the biggest things people can do is to actually turn their thermostat down. Just lowering the thermostat by one degree can lower heating bills by 3%.

The ideal temperature during the winter is 68 degrees, and experts recommend lowering it even more when you’re sleeping or away. It’s also important to inspect doors and windows and First Energy says the best way to do that is by using a flashlight.

“Shine a flashlight through the door frames and window frames to see if you can see any light from out the outside. If you do see some light you obviously have some cracks and some air leaks in those areas,” said Lauren Siburkis of First Energy.

Other things you can do to save on your bill are change your furnace filter regularly, wrap exposed pipes and water heaters and make sure you have the proper insulation. Experts recommend no less than six inches.

Check for any holes in windows or doors and seal them and make sure your home is properly insulated.
A lot of people have been using more energy because they’ve been staying home because of the pandemic, so not only are their bills high. First Energy expects them to get even higher.

Just like everyone else, the company is experiencing low inventory and high demand. Experts recommend taking the time to shop around for the lowest energy supplier rate to help you save.

The Biden Administration is distributing an $4.5 billion dollars to help low income Americans cover heating costs this winter. It’s part of last year’s COVID relief package. And with some still struggling because of COVID-19, several companies across the country guaranteed no shutoffs for those who need help.

“First Energy distributes the electricity to our customers, but we do not generate the electricity and that’s when customers can really take advantage of alternate energy suppliers and shop around for the lowest rate,” Siburkis said.

If you are shopping around, make sure to consider price, the plan structure, the contract terms and if any charges or fees apply.