SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The price of a barrel of crude oil has reached the range of $90, less than the peak this summer and in March but local heating companies are already seeing an increase.

Don Owsiak from Chicopee would prefer to turn his heat on in January, but his family already had to turn on their heat this fall. His family uses electric, which is cheaper than some options. They’re also using a budget plan.

“We pay a set fee every month for 11 months and then we balance off on the 12th month so it’s not bad,” Don told 22News.

Fixed rates are also an option if you use heating oil. Tim Noonan with Noonan Energy said they started offering fixed rates in late-August, early September. Whether or not it’s a good idea to lock in your rate, can be hard to predict.

“At any time, they can start going down again and you’re locked in at that price so it’s a gamble every year,” said Noonan. “It’s just a bigger gamble this year because the cost is so much higher.”

One thing you can do to get ready for these winter months is to winterize your home.

“If somebody hasn’t done a Mass Save audit, that’s what they should do because there’s still a great incentive for people to insulate their houses and Mass Save will pay for 75 percent of the cost,” Noonan told 22News.

You can save by turning down your thermostat. For every degree your thermostat goes down, you can save two percent on your bill.