Electricity bills can often be a major expenditure for homeowners, especially in the summer months when air conditioners and fans are going nonstop to keep residents cool. But while electricity use may be lower in the winter, further cutting electricity costs and focusing on energy efficiency can still be a benefit.

For people living in deregulated energy markets, cutting costs on electricity bills is as easy as shopping around. Taking the time to research available rates can save money in the long run. Energy costs can spike in the winter, as home heating is a necessity, but cutting electricity costs can help a family better handle other expenses.

"Locking in a low fixed rate now with a reputable energy provider ensures price stability and protects against potential price increases when cold temperatures do arrive," Marjorie Kass, managing director of marketing at MXenergy, a natural gas and electricity supplier, said in a statement.

Mass Save, a program sponsored by the state's electric and gas utilities, is also working to spread awareness about energy efficiency and energy cost reduction. The initiative will hold a presentation at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, known as "The Big E," the Northeast's largest fair on September 22.

With a forum like The Big E, Mass Save can reach a wide audience to share tips and information with the state's energy consumers. Representatives from the organization will set up at a centrally located booth and answer questions from guests regarding energy costs and energy efficiency. Fun games relating to energy efficiency will also be available, and kids can enjoy face painting.

For Mass Save, it's not just entertainment at The Big E. The program, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, performed a lighting demonstration before their presentation as they retrofit the Massachusetts building at the fair. Thanks to the new energy saving light fixtures, the building will consume approximately 75 percent less electricity, which is good for the environment and the fair's electric bills. The organization said it hopes that their demonstration will inspire others in the state to do the same.

"If all of the schools in Massachusetts were to replace the existing metal halide 'high bay' lighting fixtures in their gymnasiums with the same high output T5 fluorescent fixtures that we recently installed in the Massachusetts building, they could save upwards of $4.3 million collectively each year," Tony Fornuto, program manager for Western Massachusetts Electric Company, a sponsor of Mass Save, said in a statement.