Tips on how to reduce your utility bill

File photo.
File photo.

GREEN BAY - At Skip's Diner, cold weather is bad for business. Just ask owner Debbie Wertel.

With a utility bill ranging from $900 to $1,600, she's always looking for ways to save.

"We get here at 5:30 in the morning and we start that grill up. That helps, but if it starts getting slow I'll turn stuff down a little bit. I'll turn the deep fryer up in the morning but I don't keep it going all day long," said Wertel.

Also at the diner is Tim Iverson and he's feeling the pinch.

"I came here from California so I was really surprised about how much it costs to heat and cool the house here. Who likes paying a heating bill? It's ridiculous," said Iverson.

Wisconsin Public Service says customers could see energy bills up to 25 percent higher than last year.

"We haven't asked customers to make any conservation efforts but at this time of the year when it's as cold as it is, I think with customers, it's financially wise for them to do what they can to use as little natural gas as they can," said Kerry Spees with Wisconsin Public Service.

One way to save on your utility bill is to make sure cold air isn't getting in. Take a blanket and put it right up against the edge of the door. You also want to make sure you clean or change your air filter so your furnace runs efficiently.

If you need help paying your utility bill, Brown County offers a Home Energy Assistance Program.

"During our heating season, our heating season in Wisconsin runs from October 1 to May 15, during that time they can get a one time regular season benefit," said Chelsey Groessl with Brown County Human Services.

The assistance program is based on income and family size. You can call them at (920) 448-6460 to set up an appointment.