By Duke Energy, Special for USDR
Duke Energy meteorologists are forecasting a hot, early summer when the season kicks off in June. Small efforts to save energy can lead to big savings when temperatures rise during the summer months.
Follow these 10 low-cost to no-cost energy-efficiency tips to save on your energy bill all summer long:
- Set your AC to the highest comfortable setting. Every degree increase saves about 5 percent in cooling costs. Energy Star recommends a minimum set point of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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 the blinds. Shutting blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day can keep the sun’s rays from heating your house.
- Grill outdoors. 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. Be sure to 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 weather stripping. And keep the door closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.
Monitoring your energy use
Duke Energy offers ways to monitor your energy use to help customers avoid billing surprises, including:
- Customers who have smart meters can monitor their hourly and daily energy usage online. This helps customers track their energy use and make adjustments in between billing cycles, to help them save energy and money. www.duke-energy.com/our-company/about-us/smart-grid/smart-meter
- Customers also receive high bill alerts if their bill is projected to be $30 AND 30 percent higher than usual. This projection is based upon historical usage and whether the temperatures are higher or lower than last month. The courtesy alerts are sent halfway through the normal billing cycle, allowing customers to have time to make energy-saving choices to help reduce their bill. In order to receive an alert, a customer should have a current email address on file and at least 12 months of usage history. www.duke-energy.com/home/billing/high-bill-alerts
Programs to help you save
Duke Energy offers a variety of programs, incentives and rebates to help customers save money, including:
- The Smart $aver® program offers incentives to help with the initial costs of making your home more energy efficient. www.duke-energy.com/home/products/smart-saver
- Home Energy House Call is a free in-home energy assessment designed to show you how your home uses energy, and how you can save on your monthly bill. https://www.duke-energy.com/home/products/home-energy-house-call
For more information, tips, programs and ways to save money, visit duke-energy.com.
About Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
SOURCE Duke Energy