CEC offers tips to help with power bill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2014

With sizzling summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees this week, locals could find themselves looking for ways to save on their energy bills while still staying cool.

Mark Parker of Covington Electric Cooperative on Wednesday offered some tips for keeping your electric bill in check.

“Adjust the thermostat,” he said. “During warmer months, raising the thermostat a few degrees can save money. Set the temperature between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you could save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills.”

Parker suggested purchasing programmable thermostats, which make it easier to save by offering a pre-programmed setting that helps regulate a home’s temperature throughout the year.

Parker also encouraged using fans.

“While they don’t replace an air conditioner or heat pump, fans move the air so everyone feels more comfortable,” he said. “On milder days, fans can save as much as 60 percent in cooling bills. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.”

Like any equipment, regular maintenance is a must.

CEC recommends that consumers have their HVAC systems serviced annually by a certified technician, which helps extend the life of the system and save money.

Parker also suggested purchasing ENERGY STAR equipment.

“When it’s time to replace that cooling system, we recommend replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model,” he said. “This could reduce energy costs by as much as 30 percent. Tax credits and rebates on qualifying ENERGY STAR models may be available.”

Parker also said that when it comes to cooling one’s home, bigger isn’t always better.

“Too often, cooling equipment isn’t sized properly and could lead to higher electric bills,” he said. “A unit that is too large for your home will not cool evenly and might produce higher humidity indoors.”