It's a move that will save you money in the short-run but down the road National Grid customers will once again feel the pinch in their wallets. Electric rates during the cold weather will remain the same in February but soon jump again. Matt Jarchow shows us ways to take some of the juice, out of your bills.
POTSDAM, N.Y. -- The unusually cold winter and high gas prices have electric rates on the rise.
But energy expert Stephen Bird said realizing when you use electricity can save you money on those bills.
"There's so much that consumers can do, people in their homes can do to improve their situation this way," Bird said. "And so just taking the time to identify what their behaviors are and the areas which they can create some goals. Temperature's one, that's just a hugely obvious one to bring your temperature down."
Bird said to turn thermostats down when you're not home or asleep.
He also recommends not heating the entire house and taking shorter, cooler showers, and unplugging electronics when they're not being used.
"When they stay plugged in they're sucking juice. It's called phantom power. There's a couple of ways to handle it, either just unplug them or get a four dollar or a five dollar power bar, plug a whole bunch of that stuff in on a power bar. When the power bar is plugged in it won't let you suck that phantom power out," Bird said.
There's also a way you can avoid those high spikes you see in the winter months.
That's with the budget billing enrollment option at National Grid.
It will take your last 12 months of billing and average those out to give you a new bill for the same amount, so you pretty much know what you're going to pay every month.
"As you're working on your home budget for the year you've got a pretty good idea of what your utility bills are going to be spread out through the entire year," National Grid spokesperson Steve Brady said.
However, rates are still adjusted following 12 months of payments.
That means customers using budget billing will still see future bills increase after this winter's high costs that raise the monthly average.
But by following Bird's advice to save costs, those bills could drop.