Save Money, Stay Cool During Summer Heat Wave

It is a summer of scorching heat waves across the U.S. Cooling your home on extremely hot days can get very expensive. So, North Carolina-based utility operator Duke Energy is offering tips to help people manage energy use and bills during a heat wave.

North Carolinians are well acquainted with hot summers. But heat waves are happening in some unusual places this summer, including the Pacific Northwest. So, even if you aren’t a Duke Energy customer, read on:

Low- to no-cost energy efficiency tips

High temperatures can lead to higher energy usage and bills as customers combat the heat. Below are some tips to help manage your energy use.

Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes an HVAC system work harder, which uses more energy.

Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your energy usage and bill will be.

Close blinds, drapes and curtains during the hottest part of the day. Keeping your blinds, drapes and curtains closed will help prevent the sun’s rays from heating your house.

Use a ceiling fan in occupied rooms to supplement your air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction to push cool air down into living spaces. Only use ceiling fans in rooms that are occupied; fans cool people, not things.

Grill outdoors. Using your electric oven and stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors or prepare meals that don’t require cooking.

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.

Track, manage your energy usage

Energy use typically spikes in the summer since air conditioning is one of the biggest energy users in your home. People can also track and adjust their usage during this week’s heatwave.

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 bills. Video and b-roll available here.

Duke Energy customers with smart meters also receive usage alerts through email and/or text halfway through their billing cycle, well before their bill arrives, with their current usage amount and a projection of what their final monthly bill could be. (Check with your local utility to see if they offer a similar service).

Customers can also set budget alerts, so they know when their bill reaches a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to adjust their usage and help save money on their bill. (Again, see if this is available in your area).

Customers without smart meters can sign up to receive high bill alerts for when adverse weather is projected to increase their electric bills by at least 30 percent and $30 compared to historical usage.

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