Ithaca, New York is a location synonymous with stunning gorges, top-notch colleges, and endless winters. Although we have breathtaking summers and colorful autumns, the winters can range from freezing to frigid and can wreak havoc on your energy bill. We know that heating a house in Upstate New York is no negligible feat, so we’re giving you some tips and tricks on how to save money on your energy bill this winter. Saving energy will not only save you money, but it also helps you minimize your carbon footprint and be more kind the environment – so there’s no downside!

1. Turn Down the ‘Stat 

Your home probably doesn’t need to be a balmy 75 degrees when you’re not there to feel the difference. Turn down your thermostat by 10 degrees every time you leave, and you’ll save yourself more than a few bucks. And, if you’re the kind of person who prefers to sleep in a colder room so you can snuggle in your warm blankets, don’t forget to adjust the temperature before you go to bed!

2. Feeling Chilly? Use NYSEG “Budget Billing”

The transition between the warmer months and the winter season can be doubly hard; the temps go from 100 to 0 but your heating bill goes from 0 to 100. Did you know that New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) offers a budget billing plan that spreads out your heating bill over the year so that you don’t get overwhelmed during the winter? Instead of paying hundreds of dollars November – March, you can pay smaller amounts throughout the year. Check it out. Your Starbucks fund will thank you.

3. Double Down and Bundle Up

One of the best parts about cold weather is getting to break out your coziest clothes! Thick layers like blanket scarves, knit sweaters and hoodies are not only super comfy, but they also add an extra four degrees of body heat. Enjoy the winter weather by curling up with a good book, some fuzzy socks, and the peace of mind that you’re saving money on your energy bill.

4. Get Clean with Less Green

Did you know that 90% of the energy that goes into washing clothes is spent on heating water? Select the cold cycle on your washing machine and your clothes will still be as clean without racking up your energy bill.

5. Seal Your Windows

Drafty windows and doors are expensive heat suckers during the winter. If they are improperly sealed, the heat that you’re paying for and counting on will leak right out of your home. Be sure to check all your windows and doors for drafts before the temps drop. Drafts can be easily covered with towels, or special products that can seal the heat inside and keep the cold outside.

6. Run Dishwasher Only When Full

Instead of spending the full energy of your dishwasher to clean just a few dishes, fill it up to save water, energy, and money!

7. Unplug Yourself

Whenever your phone charger is plugged into the wall, it is constantly drawing energy, even when you’re not using it. Since you’re still being charged for this energy, your bill will continue to add up over time. Remember to unplug any electronics you aren’t utilizing so you aren’t being charged for energy you’re not using!

8. Turn Off the Lights

If lights are on in a room and no one’s there to see them, does it still add to your energy bill? Of course it does! Turning off your lights when you leave a room is a no-brainer way to shave dollars off your bill. Don’t forget to also take advantage of the daylight – don’t turn your lights on when the sun is out!

9. Here Comes the Sun

On that natural lighting note, the sun is your friend! Open your blinds while the sun is out and you can help to heat up your home and take some of the dependency off your heating system. Be sure to close your blinds during the night though, as this tactic can actually have the opposite effect at night.

10. Get LED This Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, keep in mind that holiday lights can be a contributing factor to your energy bill as well. LED lights last 25% longer and use 75% less energy than other incandescent lights and can be found wherever holiday lights are sold.

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