CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The high costs of energy are going to be difficult for Massachusetts residents this winter, especially when it comes to covering the costs of heating your home.

The cost of heating is expected to be 28.6% higher for homes using natural gas, 18.6% higher for those that use oil, and 54.6% for electric heating. The Valley Opportunity Council is a non-profit that provides fuel assistance and they are sharing simple things homeowners can do to cut down those high heating bills.

Melissa White, the director of programs at The Valley Opportunity Council stated, “Specialized material on the windows to keep out the drafts, even the draft protectors under the doors, increasing the insulation and potentially replacing windows. Whatever I kept the temperature at last year, see if we can squeak it down a few more degrees so just try to keep your general, thermostat down a little bit, even one degree can make a real difference in your overall costs.”

White adds that now is also the time to apply for fuel assistance, the eligibility changes year after year, so it’s worth looking into. Homeowners, renters, and even people who have heat included in their rent can qualify.