(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — Colder temperatures mean your home may work harder to stay warm and bright. However, it’s still possible to conserve energy by following a few simple tips, says Black Hills Energy.

  • Check your thermostat – One important step is to set your thermostat slightly lower than normal. For example, 68 degrees is warm enough to protect your home’s water pipes but cool enough to potentially make a difference on your bills. This is also a great time to break out sweaters and blankets to ensure you stay comfortable.
  • Lower your water heater setting  Lowering your temperature setting a few degrees can also save energy. Reducing your water heater temperature to under 120 degrees can save up to 10% on your water heating costs.
  • Limit laundry and household chores  Limit running large appliances during extreme weather if you can, to cut down on energy use. If you must do laundry or wash dishes, try to run complete loads, which saves hot water. You can also set your dishwasher to an air-dry setting or open the door when the cycle ends to let dishes air-dry naturally.
  • Multitask when cooking – If you’re going to be cooking multiple dishes or meals, bake as many as you can at once. Heating up the oven takes a lot of energy, so the fewer times you heat it up, the more energy you’ll save.

Black Hills Energy has several programs available to help customers conserve energy this winter:

  • Enroll in budget billing, which allows customers to average their bill over 12 months, making energy bills more predictable.
  • Monitor your usage through your online account to see when you use the most energy.
  • Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/winter-ready for more info on the programs above, as well as additional tips to winterize your home and save energy.

Black Hills Energy also said that as the inclement weather rolls in, be mindful of the effects that extreme temperatures can have and be careful when traveling or spending time outside.