FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Last winter with all of the extreme weather, natural gas prices spiked across California, leaving many customers with hefty energy bills.
While the U.S. Energy Information Administration does not expect prices to be as high this season, cooler weather still causes a change.
"We kind of transition from the summer months when there's increased use with the air conditioner, to the winter months when there's increased energy use, particularly gas usage as a result of the colder temperatures and so we're starting to see that," said Jeff Smith, PG&E, Spokesperson.
As the thermostat shifts from cold to hot, Jeff Smith with PG&E says the utility's goal is to make sure customers are prepared. One way is through energy audits or the HomeIntel services program.
"You can give permission to PG&E to take a look at your bills and your energy use and then you can actually get assistance in looking at what's going on in your home and where you can potentially conserve," said Smith.
Smith says an energy coach can be available over Zoom, email and in person to go throughout the property and help save people hundreds of dollars each year.
Both PG&E and Southern California Edison point out there's often equipment that can quietly drain your energy.
"Another way to save money is to unplug what we call vampire devices. These are appliances around your home that you may plugged in, but they're actually consuming energy even when they're turned off. So look around and unplug your TV, toaster oven, coffee maker game consoles," said Diane Castro, SoCal Edison, Spokesperson.
Diane Castro also says when decorating for the holidays, try to use cost efficient lights.
"LED lights, you can use them for decorating, you can use them for your holidays inside and outside and led lights use up to 80% less energy than regular lights," said Castro.
So Cal Edison also provides bill assistance programs for those who qualify and both providers encourage customers to take advantage of the cost-saving opportunities.
Next Tuesday, November 14 from 5:30 - 7 p.m., PG&E is hosting a Central Valley virtual town hall for regional cost saving tips this winter. You can find more information here.