ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — If the pandemic has you working from home – are you paying attention to how many appliances are running at a time, or how long you leave the lights on? Add in brutally cold temperatures — chances are your utility bills are going up too.

Sarah Warren, communications specialist with Rochester Gas and Electric says people may be letting their payments slip with the state-wide moratorium on utility shut-offs. But there are options for you to get help.

“We have a variety of assistance programs available the federal grant programs heap and emergency heap as well as project share to support those who already use assistance programs and still need some help,” said Warren.

Warren says there are ways you can save, and conserve energy while spending more time at home.

Some tips – keep heating supply and return registers and radiators clean, and clear of any furniture or curtains. Clean or replace furnace and air conditioner filters once a month.
And don’t be afraid to bundle up a little more at night.

“One thing our customers can do is lower heat at night when sleeping and have a lot of blankets, we recommend between 65 and 70 depending on comfort. Every degree lower counts,” she said.

And if you get a call from someone asking for payment info and threatening to shut off your utilities – hang up right away.

“Knowing that we suspended disconnections can help protect our customers from falling prey to a scam like that.”

The number to call for help with RG&E is 877-266-3492.