JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - If you have a heating system that works on electricity, it's most likely working overtime.
That can lead to very high electric bills for customers.
Most of us have dreaded opening that electric bill this month.
Staying warm is a priority when temperatures continue to dip below freezing.
But keeping your home warm can really cut into your bank account.
Temperatures go down and thermostats go up.
"We've seen an increase of somewhere between 20-25% to the typical load we see during this time of the year," said Don Schuette, Director of Electric Utilities for the city of Jackson, Missouri.
Schuette said even with this increase they're nowhere near capacity.
Usage typically peaks during the summer.
"We're nowhere near the capacity for what we can provide for our customers, but yes it takes some effect on it," he said. "Any time you increase your load, you're increasing your wear and tear on your equipment."
That wear and tear can happen in your home as well.
But there are some quick, inexpensive steps to make your home more energy efficient.
And keep more money in your wallet.
"Yes they will actually see a decrease in their bill. By lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower, you'll see at least a 6-8% decrease in your bill and that's a proven industry standard," Schuette said.
Schuette also recommends buying a programmable thermostat and closing vents in rooms you don't use.
He said change your furnace filter every 1-3 months and check for air leaks around doors and windows.
for online resources that help Ameren Missouri customers reduce their monthly usage.