Electric usage goes UP when the temperatures go DOWN. Keep a lid on your utility bill during times of extreme cold.
When temperatures take an extreme dive, our customers may experience higher than anticipated electric bills. We recently experienced an extended time period with temperatures well below zero. If your bill is higher than anticipated, the extreme conditions are likely the cause.
Tips for Keeping Warm at Home
DAYTIME: Open south-facing window coverings.
Open curtains on your south facing windows during the day to let the sun naturally heat your home. Close them as the sun goes down to reduce the chill you may feel from the window.
Cover Drafty Windows.
If you suspect your windows and doors are causing a draft, try weather stripping or replacing the seals. Test your seals with this trick: put a dollar between the door or window and the seal, and close it. If you can easily pull the dollar out, it’s time to replace the seal.
Window kits can also help eliminate drafts and keep hea indoors. If you cannot afford the kits, try hanging blankets when the cold sets in.
Keep The Air Moving.
Most ceiling fans have the ability to reverse the direction on the fan. Rotating fans clockwise at a low speed pulls up cool air, and circulates warm air that collects close to the ceiling, distributing it along walls and downward toward the floor. As the room warms up, your thermostat will take notice and require less of your heating system.
Adjust the Temperature.
A good recommendation for your thermostat is 68 degrees, but set it according to the lowest temperature that is comfortable in your home.
When you are not home or are sleeping, it helps to lower the temperature of your thermostat. You can do this manually, or with a programmable thermostat.
If your home is chilly and you want to warm it up, don’t turn your thermostat to an excessively high number. This won’t heat your home any faster–it will keep the system running until the thermostat reaches the higher temperature. If your thermostat currently reads 70, but you would like it to be 72, that will be reached in the same amount of time whether you set the thermostat to 72 or to 78.
Keep Exterior Doors Closed.
Keep garage doors closed, and limit the opening of exterior doors.
Keep Fireplace Dampers Closed.
If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter. It allows warm are to go right up the chimney! Learn more about Fireplace Efficiency.
Portable Heater Use.
We certainly understand the comfort that portable heaters provide in extreme cold, but be aware they are LARGE users of electricity. If you are using a unit to heat one or two rooms you use the most, turn down your central heating so you don’t heat up the rooms you are not using. Close doors to those rooms to avoid heat loss.
Dress in Layers.
Grab a sweater or blanket rather than reaching for your thermostat. Wearing weather appropriate clothing helps to reduce the demand for heat.
Monitor Your Usage.
Keep track of your usage in real time, by logging into the SmartHub portal. This can help you to identify what is happening in your household NOW, rather than tracing your steps when you receive your next bill.