How to save money as energy prices rise

With energy prices on the rise, many Minnesotans will likely be paying more to heat their homes this winter.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says it expects the average American to pay around $931 for heating this winter, a 28% increase from last year.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) says Minnesota homeowners tend to pay less for electricity than other parts of the country but costs are still rising.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat the rising prices and save a little money this winter.

RELATED: How to save money on heating bills going into ‘the coldest winter in a decade’

Xcel Energy recommends keeping thermostats set a few degrees lower than normal, ideally to 68 or lower. Adjusting the thermostat to automatically be lower when nobody is home or while you’re sleeping can also save money.

During the day, keeping drapes and blinds open will maximize heat from direct sunlight and closing them at night will help retain heat.

Proper air circulation can also help lower costs by maintaining more balanced heating levels. Xcel Energy says running ceiling fans clockwise will push warm air down and keeping interior doors open will help with more free circulation.

RELATED: Saving Money on Heating This Winter

While those moves can help save some money, it’s also important to know that there are programs to help.

The Energy Assistance Program offers help to income-qualified customers. The Cold Weather Rule prevents utility companies from shutting off electric or natural gas service between Oct.1 and April 30 as long as a payment plan is set up with the utility company. The Conservation Improvement Program requires rebates and incentives for Minnesotans to make their homes more energy efficient.

For more information and resources from PUC, click here.

RELATED: Homeowners ready their homes for winter as frosty temps set to arrive in Twin Cities