Tips help customers manage electricity costs amid summer heat wave
Because hot weather can lead to higher energy bills, Duke Energy has offered the following tools and tips to help customers manage those costs this summer.
Experts with Duke Energy, which serves customers in North and South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, say that perhaps the easiest and most significant savings come from the thermostat – the further your thermostat setting is from the actual temperature outside, the more energy you'll use.
Consider the following:
- Budget billing gives customers better control over their energy spending by establishing predictable monthly payments.
- Online savings calculators help customers understand how their homes use energy – and how they can potentially reduce their consumption and better manage their summer bills.
- Customers can also sign up to receive high bill alerts for when adverse weather is projected to increase electric bills by at least 30 percent and $30 compared to historical usage.
- Customers with smart meters can check online to view their daily usage. Smart meters collect usage information by the hour, so checking spikes throughout the month – by day and even hour – can show what appliances and behaviors are increasing their bill.
Here are some low- to no-cost summer tips:
- Set the AC to the comfortable setting that meets lifestyle needs. Hot summer days can mean higher energy bills. The further your thermostat setting is from the temperature outside, the higher your energy bill will be.
- Change or clean your air filters monthly. A dirty air filter can make a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Inspect and service your HVAC. Have your HVAC system checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to make sure it is operating efficiently. This will also help extend the life of the system.
- Don't cool an empty house. If you'll be out and about, adjust or program your thermostat to work around your schedule.
- Close blinds. Shutting blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day can keep the sun's rays from heating your house.
- Use the grill. Cooking in the oven and on the stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors, or prepare meals that don't require cooking.
- Use fans in occupied rooms. They circulate air to supplement air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
- Turn off unnecessary lights. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Lights emit heat and cause your air conditioning system to work harder.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
- Seal air leaks with caulking and weatherstripping. And keep the door closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.