SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Customers should prepare for increasing natural gas prices this fall and winter, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioners said.

The PUC offered several ways to lower natural gas and electric consumption.

Customers can set their thermostats to a lower temperature, maintain and upgrade appliances for greater energy efficiency, change furnace filters, adjust your water heater tank’s temperature and conserve hot water, according to the PUC news release.

“Simple steps like taking a fresh look at your budget, installing a programmable thermostat, or contacting your utility company to ask about a budget billing plan that helps spread out higher utility costs over several months rather than having you pay it all at once can make a big difference. Completing a home energy audit is another great way to identify any air leaks, simple fixes or upgrades that could save you money in the long run,” PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson said in a news release.

According to the PUC, experts have identified high global demand, a growth in the consumption of natural gas that outpaces production and record level exports of liquified natural gas as some of the biggest contributors to the rise in natural gas prices expected this winter.