Charlotte J. Cavell
The future is bright and your home can be too
NEW ORLEANS – The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time. But once the fleur de lis has dropped at Jackson Square, the fireworks show ends and celebrations with family and friends wind down, it’s time to reflect on changes that can make a big difference in 2018.
Why not make lowering your energy usage one of those changes? It doesn’t take much to save big. So, as we turn the page on a new year, here’s a countdown to ways you can save.
10. Make a resolution to save energy and stick to it. Put a sticky note on your thermostat to remind you to set it and forget it! Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or the lowest comfortable temperature. Each degree over 68 degrees will add approximately 3 percent to your heating bill during these cold days.
9. Feel around the entrances to your house. If you feel cold air coming under the doors, near the windows or even through your outlets, that means the valuable heat you’re paying for is being wasted! Get a draft guard, weather stripping or caulk and fill those gaps. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel. Also, keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic in and out will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the temperature you set.
8. Let the sun shine through. If you have drapes or blinds, open them. The sun is a natural heater that can keep you comfortable on cold winter days. Keep the heat in at night by closing them after the sun has set.
7. Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
6. Plug it in. Use an electric heater to warm up chilly spaces. Just make sure you use it correctly and keep it away from anything flammable. Electric blankets, when used properly, can keep you toasty too.
5. Make sure fans are turning the right way. In the winter, switch the rotation of your fans. They should be run at a low speed clockwise. That way cold air isn’t blowing down on you.
4. Make sure you replace your air filters regularly and get your heating unit checked. You want these appliances to be in tip top shape when it’s cold outside! Installing an insulating blanket for your electric water heaters is also a good way to keep costs down.
3. If you can’t use it, don’t. No need to heat an empty room or house if you’re not there to enjoy it. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees if away from home for several days – just make sure to remember your pets and if it’s really cold, your pipes!
2. Don’t let your cozy fireplace get the best of your energy bill. Install a top-sealing chimney damper, a cast-iron fireback and fireplace glass doors to get the most advantage of your cozy, but drafty, chimney.
1. The top way you can save money this new year is online. Visit entergy.com for more great energy-efficiency tips and programs to save you money, as well as helpful payment options and other tools to help you budget for the cold months ahead. Orleans Parish customers can also visit Energy Smart, a New Orleans program that offers incentives and rebates on a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades year-round.
“For customers struggling to pay their winter energy bills, there are solutions to help,” said Dennis Dawsey, Entergy’s vice president of customer service in Louisiana. “We have a program called The Power to Care that assists elderly and disabled customers, and is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. There are also local agencies that can help.”
For more information on other programs that can help residents in need with bill assistance, visit the Help for Paying Your Electric Bills section of the Entergy website, click on financial assistance agencies, then choose New Orleans for a local list.
Entergy New Orleans, LLC is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 198,000 customers and natural gas to more than 106,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $10.8 billion and nearly 13,000 employees.