When temperatures soar during the scorching summer months, energy usage can quickly follow. Local utility companies often offer customers energy-saving tips and programs to help manage their energy consumption.
Kentucky Utilities Company offers a full suite of programs providing customers with discounted services and offsetting expenses when various energy-efficient upgrades are made – earning customers as much as $1,700 to put back in their pockets and reducing their energy consumption.
“The weather is a huge contributor that affects how much energy we use at home,” said David Huff, director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid Strategy for LG&E and KU. “When as much as half of your home energy use may be attributed to heating and cooling, your air conditioner and habits around the house are areas to focus on during summer months.”
Even taking advantage of simple do-it-yourself tips can have a significant impact on how customers use energy this summer. Here are a few examples to help combat the heat wave:
· Make a plan: Think about the habits of everyone within your household and how they’re using energy; then, make a list of the available resources you can call on for help, like your local utility company. KU, for instance, offers the Online Home Energy Analysis. In about 10 minutes, customers can log in to their online account and answer a series of questions about their home. Based on their home’s actual energy usage, they receive a detailed report with tips to make their home up to 10 percent more energy efficient.
- Put your best foot forward: Dirty equipment or improper refrigerant levels force an air conditioner or heat pump system to worker harder than necessary. KU partners with local trained service providers and offers a discounted A/C Testing and Tune-Up Program, by appointment, to make sure a customer’s air conditioner is performing at its best.
- Set it, and forget it: Setting the thermostat to the highest comfortable setting during the day will help manage cooling expenses. For most people, the ideal setting is between 78-80 degrees. Raising your thermostat setting by one degree can save as much as 4-7 percent on the cooling portion of your energy bill.
· Ceiling fans cool you, not the room: Ceiling fans help circulate cool air and make rooms – and you – more comfortable during hot summer days. But, remember to turn off the fan when leaving the room because it’s only circulating cool air, not lowering the room temperature.
• Keep it clear: Remove surrounding plants, dirt and grass clippings from the outdoor unit of an air conditioner for uninterrupted air circulation. Periodically spray the outdoor coil with a garden hose to keep it free from debris.
· Soak up the shade: Closing curtains, drapes and blinds on sun-facing windows helps block rays that naturally increase indoor temperatures.
· Mark your calendar: Designating a “maintenance” date each month serves as a reminder to check and change your air filters, as needed, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Visit the LG&E and KU website to learn more ways customers are beating the heat and saving energy.