Toby Talbot, AP
Wayne Holland of the Suburban Propane Co. delivers oil in Barre, Vt. Americans will pay more to heat their homes during the 2012-13 winter season as they feel something they didn't feel much of last year: cold.

The groundhog has the most expensive shadow, according to a Go Banking Rates article.

Since six weeks is 12 percent of the total year, that’s an additional 12 percent on your heating bill. Preparing your home for winter can save a surprising amount, said Nicholas Pell. Here are some energy saving tips.

Turn down the heat

Not breaking news, but by turning the thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees during the night, it can save you 15 percent the entire year on the heating bill.

Shop around

Energy providers vary costs by location, so there isn’t a way to say one company has the best policy. Shop around to find the better rates and purchase fixed-rate energy services.

Prepare your home

Weather-proofing your home includes caulking around windows and doors, weather stripping older windows, insulating the attic, insulating exposed pipes, getting a programmable thermostat so the heat is lowered while at work, sealing door gaps, keeping furniture away from climate control elements and installing storm doors and keeping them closed.