Electric utility offers money-saving tips for cold weatherBy CLAY MCFERRIN,
This week’s arctic blast had many Tallahatchians scrambling to protect their home and property from the effects of freezing cold temperatures, but what about the potential impact on those utility bills?
According to Entergy Mississippi, heating and air conditioning can account for as much as 55% of a monthly electric bill, also noting that every degree above 68 on the thermostat can increase the cost of heating by 3%.
In addition to urging moderation when selecting the comfort level, Entergy offers the following tips to help manage cold-weather bills:
• Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home or business.
• Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at local home improvement stores and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
• Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the set temperature.
• Ensure ceiling fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This helps keep the cold air from blowing down on you.
• Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
• Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
• Check out energy-efficiency programs. Visit Entergy Mississippi’s Energy Solutions page for energy-saving solutions and energy-efficient products.
For those struggling to pay their energy bills, Entergy helps low-income, disabled and elderly customers through its customer-assistance fund, The Power to Care, which is funded by donations from Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. In addition to The Power to Care, bill-payment assistance also is available through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. For more information, visit the website, entergymississippi.com.