Cold winter weather is here and that means higher heating costs. Some simple short and long term steps can help manage these costs. First, turning the thermostat down a few degrees, especially when away from home or when sleeping, can help with costs, as well as sealing air leaks around windows and doors. Your local utility can provide a solution by enrolling you in a level-payment program that will enable you to make equal monthly payments throughout the year. The utility sets a level payment amount based on your average costs for energy use and you pay the same amount each month. Contact your utility provider for more information.