Ways to save on your electric bill this summer

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CULLMAN, Ala. – Energy used for cooling and heating your home makes up the largest portion of monthly energy bills, but there are several ways to help save on your electric bill even during the hottest summer months. Improving energy efficiency also increases the level of comfort in your home. There are some tactics for saving that can be done easily at no cost.

Cullman Electric Co-op offers energy and money saving programs and tips including access to Touchstone Energy Cooperative’s tools for energy efficiency. Touchstone Energy provides 101 easy ways to save money and energy. The top 10 ways are:

1. Replace any light bulb, especially ones that burn more than one hour per day, with a light emitting diode (LED) bulb.

2. Seal from the inside. Air sealing is an inexpensive way to lower energy costs and improve comfort. Seal gaps and holes in walls, floors and ceilings with caulk or foam sealant. Look for cracks around windows and where wires and pipes pass through.

3. Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TV’s into power strips to turn off during vacations or long periods without use. Smart power strips make it an easy task to save money.

4. Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

5. Change your central HVAC system filter when dirty by the manufacturers recommendations. Dirty filters can impact your home comfort and increase your electricity bill.

6. A one-degree increase in heating setpoint or reduction in cooling setpoint can increase energy use by 3 – 5%.

7. Have your duct work checked for leaks. Leaks at the return, air handler and supply can be a major source of high bills. Mobile homes check at the grill, cross over duct and down flow air handler, for leaks.

8. Set both the upper and lower water heater thermostats no higher than 120 F.

9. An electric space heater can cost more than $100 per month to operate. Minimize their use, except for limited or temporary spot heating. Turn space heaters off when leaving the room.

10. Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight. Eliminate unnecessary refrigerators.

Heating and air-conditioning are responsible for 40-50% of monthly energy spendings. Touchstone recommends setting thermostats to 78 degrees in summer, and 68 degrees in winter. According to a U.S. Department of Energy survey, 34 million households set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there most of the time, whether someone is at home or not. Seventy-four degrees to 76 degrees is the most widely used air conditioning temperature setting range during the day, at night and when no one is at home.

By adjusting the thermostat just a few degrees while no one is home, this can lead to major savings. Cullman Electric Co-op offers a free SmartVIEW energy tracking program to members with an online account so that households can view the amount of energy they are using before their monthly bill comes out.

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