Easy ways to lower your gas bill

Steps you can take to lower your gas bill, reduce your gas use, and make your home more energy efficient for all seasons.

Johanna Newmann, monkeybusinessimages, Dennis Schroeder, U.S. Navy | Used by permission
Jordan Hamrick
Jordan Hamrick

Former Utility Watchdog Campaigner, Illinois PIRG

Cold weather means increased gas heating bills. Additionally, four major gas utilities in Illinois recently raised their rates so your bill will likely be higher than it was in previous years. However, there are easy steps you can take to lower your gas bill and make your home more energy efficient.

Step 1: Understand how your home uses energy

You can get a home energy audit or assessment to learn where in your home you are using the most energy and where the most energy is getting wasted. A professional energy auditor will do a complete walkthrough of your home and run a few tests to determine what things can be fixed so you can save money. Peoples Gas, North Shore, Ameren, and Nicor offer a free energy assessment for qualifying customers or you can receive a tax credit through the Inflation Reduction Act for an energy audit. 

Step 2: Reduce your gas use

One of the changes made in the recent gas rate hikes is that a higher percentage of your bill will be based on how much gas you use. This means your winter bills will tend to be higher than before, and summer bills lower. It also gives you the opportunity to better control your bill by reducing the amount of gas you use.

  • Turn down your thermostat when you are sleeping or away from home. Programmable thermostats allow you to schedule when you want the temperature to change without you worrying about it. There are rebates available for smart thermostats to help further cut heating costs.
  • Check your water heater temperature. In most households, 120 degrees is a sufficient temperature to heat water, saving you money and energy compared to higher temperatures.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and skip the drying cycle. A washing machine spends 90% of its energy to heat water and line-drying or rack-drying takes no energy at all. You can do the same for your dishwasher.

Step 3: Weatherize your home

Not all of the heat you pay for stays in your home. You can decrease the amount of energy wasted by weatherizing your home. The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) helps low income residents improve their home’s energy efficiency through air sealing, appliance repair, insulation improvement, etc.

  • Weather strips can be placed around doors and windows as a relatively cheap way to seal leaks that allow heat to escape.
  • Insulate your water heater and hot water pipes
  • Install double pane or storm windows.
  • Clean and change the filters in your HVAC system at least every six months. This will increase the efficiency of your system and improve indoor air quality.

Step 4: Invest in electric and energy efficient appliances

When you need to replace an appliance, opt for an electric and energy efficient appliance. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 offers consumers tax credits and discounts on more than a dozen types of energy-saving purchases. Rewiring America has an easy-to-use online calculator to help you determine how much you can get back or save on qualifying purchases.

If you are not ready to purchase a full electric range, you can purchase an induction cooktop so you can reduce some of your cooking with gas. ComEd offers rebates for several electric appliances, including induction cooktops.

There is a lot that each of us can do to reduce our energy use. Many of these practices will also help you save on cooling costs in the summer. Encourage your neighbors, family and friends to make changes as well. 


Jordan Hamrick

Former Utility Watchdog Campaigner, Illinois PIRG