With recent cold temperatures and wintry mixes blanketing Central Texas, electric bills could be rising. When overnight low temperatures drop below freezing, heaters must work overtime to maintain about a 40-degree difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Pedernales Electric Cooperative shares the following reminders to help members take control of winter bills:
·The recommended winter thermostat setting is 68 degrees. Every degree below that can reduce an electric bill by 3 to 5 percent.
·When no one’s home, lower the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees. Completely turning off the heater causes the unit to work overtime when it’s turned back on, eating up any savings that may have been gained.
·If you expect to be away several days, turn off or lower the water heater temperature setting to help maximize energy savings. When temperatures are extreme, water heaters can use more electricity than expected to maintain temperature settings.
·To ensure optimum efficiency, service heating units every year and change filters monthly.
·Space heaters may seem like an economical solution to winter heating, but they can use a surprising amount of electricity.
·Keeping curtains or blinds open during the day lets in the sun’s heat. Closing them at night blocks drafts and insulates cold window glass.
PEC members can also take control of their electric use by using the Co-op’s online MyUse Energy Analyzer tool. Members may log in to download their personal MyUse report and view daily electric use in both kilowatt-hours and dollars. With that information, PEC members have a clearer snapshot of their energy use, which may help them pinpoint where potential savings exist.
Members can learn more by visiting www.pec.coop/waystosave.