As the temperature outside increases, so do electric bills, but customers can take a number of steps that range from no-cost to low-cost in order to help keep energy costs in check. The Indiana Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor offers a number of consumer tips for those who wish to reduce their summer electric bills.
Unplug chargers for cell phones and other devices when not in use and consider using power strips to make it easier; set the thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature, raising it by a few degrees if you’ll be leaving the house for more than a few hours; move lamps, TVs and appliances away from the thermostat; turn off all lights, TVs, computers and other appliances when not in use; only use exhaust fans for short periods of time; use ceiling fans only when not in the room and ensure they are turning counter-clockwise. Also, close blinds, shades and draperies, as well as storm doors and windows.
To further increase efficiency, have your HVAC system serviced by a professional, ensure the filter is clean, and make sure vents are not blocked. Check your attic’s insulation, wait until evening to use the oven or dishwasher, to do laundry, or to use other large appliances. Clean your refrigerator coil, make sure your clothes dryer vent isn’t clogged, and make sure your water heater isn’t set too high.
In addition, consider switching to compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs to use less energy and emit less heat, and enroll in your utility’s air conditioning load management program if available.
For a full fact sheet, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC or call the agency at 1-888-441-2494.