COLDWATER (WTVB) - The hot dry summer of 2012 has brought high electricity and water bills for many homeowners and businesses and the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities says if people know they can’t pay their bills on time, they should contact the B-P-U right away to let them know when they can make their payment. The utility’s customer service manager, Jodi Shook says the BPU recognizes that some people are struggling, financially. Shook stressed that utility shut-off’s for nonpayment are considered a last resort. The B-P-U also says it wants their customers to know there are steps they can take to use energy and water more efficiently and better budget their bill payments to avoid shutoffs altogether if they fall behind on their bill. The utility offers an equal payment program designed to eliminate seasonal ups and downs and bills the same amount each month. Any citizens looking for more resources that they may not find on the website www.coldwater.org are encouraged to contact the Department of Human Services for possible assistance with programs and services. The Coldwater B-P-U is offering what it calls a few no-cost tips you can start using today to cut down on energy costs: Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle; Air dry clothes instead of using your clothes dryer; Turn lights, TV’s, entertainment systems, computers & moniters off when not in use; Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees; Take short showers instead of baths; And make sure windows and doors are closed when cooling your home.