Due to the ongoing extreme cold weather, many people are anxiously anticipating their utility bills.

The Utilities Consumer Advocate offers some advice on how to save money, so the bill won't be as big of a surprise.

Here are five tips that you can use:

1. Conduct an energy audit of your home -- An audit can determine how much energy you use, where it's losing energy, and how to prevent it. You can also contact your distribution company, and they can provide you with a breakdown of your energy consumption.

2. Replace aging equipment with energy-efficient products -- A dirty furnace filter, a faulty thermostat, or a bad seal on a refrigerator door are a few things that will significantly increase your usage.

3. Use the sun’s energy to warm up your house -- In the winter, open your blinds on the side of your house that the sun shines on and close them once it gets dark. The natural sunlight will warm up the room.

4. Use a block heater timer -- Even on the coldest nights, a block heater only needs to be turned on 3 hours before starting your car. A timer will turn the block heater on a few hours before you start your car instead of using up energy all night. 

5. Close doors and heating vents in unused rooms and closets. 

It is also helpful to unplug any electronics that you aren't actively using and turn off lights when you leave a room.

Even the smallest actions can help you save.

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@strathmorenow.com