Here's some good news. It'll cost less to heat your home this Winter. National Grid is predicting lower energy bills for customers in Upstate New York.

Natural gas and electric bills are expected to be less than last Winter. with a savings of about $30 for natural gas and almost 9% in electricity.

National Grid says natural gas from Nov.1 through March 31 will cost approximately $507, or about $31 (5.8 percent) less. Your monthly electricity bills will be $6 to $8 lower (6.9 to 8.8 percent) this winter heating season.

“Even with a forecast of lower bills, we remind customers to use energy wisely and take advantage of our various energy efficiency programs,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president. “Simple steps taken now – like changing furnace filters, increasing insulation, sealing windows and doors and using LED light bulbs – can help control energy costs this winter and all year around.”

Efficiency tips:

  • Replace five incandescent lights with Energy Star light bulbs and save $9 a month.
  • Turn off lights, appliances, TVs, stereos, and computers when not in use, and save approximately $9 a month.
  • Unplug your electric space heater or hot tub and save $41 a month.
  • Recycle your second, older refrigerator and you can save $23 a month.<./li>
  • Washing your clothes in cold water can save you $9 per month.
  • Repair leaky faucets and save $6 per month.
  • Unplug electronics with remote control or “instant on” features and save $4 a month.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that lowers the setting at night and when no one is home, and save $15 a month.
  • Caulk, weather-strip around windows and doors to keep warm air in and save $13 a month.

Get more tips at nationalgrid.com.

Winter may not be so bad this year in central New York with predictions of lower energy bills AND mild temperatures. But it'll still be Winter and we're going to get the snow, more than average if the Farmer's Almanac is right.