(WKBN) — With a chance of snow in the forecast and winter quickly approaching, utility bills may be on the rise.

The U.S. Department of Energy expects winter electric bills to go up almost 8% compared to last year.

Natural gas — the No. 1 source of electricity — prices are also up 170% compared to two years ago.

Local master home inspector Brian Hill says there are some inexpensive ways to keep energy bills down this winter.

“Turn down your thermostat, wear a little bit more warmer clothes,” Hill says. “Remember that each degree you turn up the thermostat, you’re going to be paying about an extra 1 to 3% more on your energy bill.”

Hill also recommends sealing any spots where outside air can come inside.

For those with wood-burning fireplaces, Hill says to close the damper on it in cold weather. He says it’s just like leaving a window open in the house.