Customers can manage energy costs by following a few simple strategies
Clarksdale Public Utilities is urging customers to take a few simple steps that can make a big difference in their summertime cooling bills.
“As in years past, we are helping customers prepare for summer by sharing tips to manage electricity costs during the hottest months when usage tends to be significantly higher,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “These simple strategies make it possible to save energy and stay comfortable.”
Through its Simple Steps initiative, CPU is asking customers to make small adjustments such as keeping thermostats set at 78 degrees, waiting until cooler evening hours to use appliances such as clothes dryers, and using ceiling and box fans to circulate cool air.
CPU also is directing attention to programs already in place that are designed to help customers better manage their electricity usage and household budgets. They include Levelized Billing, Pick A Due Date, and online resources featuring inexpensive ways to maximize the benefits of electricity.
“It is normal to see an increase in utility bills during hot weather,” said Boschert. “Small adjustments by customers will make a big difference. And the best part is that most of these tips are free and easy to implement.”
The following Simple Steps are proven strategies to increase home energy efficiency and lower cooling costs during the summer:
• Operate thermostats efficiently. The ideal thermostat setting in the summer is 78°F. Keep your house warmer than normal when you’re away and lower the thermostat only when you are home. However, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you return. This doesn’t cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
• Keep your cooling system running efficiently. Schedule regular maintenance. Vacuum return vents regularly to remove dust buildup and ensure that furniture and other objects do not block airflow.
• Use fans and other ventilation strategies. A ceiling fan allows you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room; fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect. When you shower or bathe, use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside, not just to the attic.
• Keep cold air inside and hot air outside. Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home and cold air from escaping. Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal leaky doors and windows.
• Don’t heat your home with appliances and lighting. On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Minimize activities that generate excess heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using curling irons, hair dryers and other hot devices. Even stereos and TVs will add some heat to your home.
• Close curtains, blinds and shades to block outdoor heat from radiating inside. Try to use light, reflective window coverings to deflect the sun’s rays.
• Lower your water-heating costs. Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of home energy use. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and consider air drying both dishes and clothing. Take short showers instead of baths.
Customers may visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at www.energy.gov and select “Save Energy, Save Money” for information about improving the energy-efficiency of homes.
Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.
Learn more at http://cdpu.net.