JACKSON, Miss. – It’s tempting to crank up the thermostat when temperatures outside are falling. But did you know that’s one of the main ways to increase your energy bill?
“When the thermostat’s cranked up, energy use increases and bills rise, too,” said Robbin Jeter, Entergy Mississippi vice president of customer service. “Heating and air conditioning make up more than half of most energy bills. The best way to manage your electric usage during cold weather is to keep your thermostat set on 68 degrees. Each degree warmer will increase your bill by about three percent.”
Other ways to stay comfortable and save energy when the temperatures drop are:
Wrap your water heater. Heating water for cooking, cleaning, laundry and bathing is the second-largest energy user in homes. Insulating blankets for electric water heaters are inexpensive and readily available at any home improvement store. These will make a difference in your energy bills.
Seal the duct work. In the South, leaky ducts waste more energy than any other problem. To stop this loss, your ductwork should be made airtight everywhere ducts attach to vents, each other and the heating/cooling unit. Use mastic (preferred) or foil tape. Some do-it-yourselfers can handle this job; other homeowners may want to hire a professional.
Think long term. Making your home more energy efficient is a good move for lowering bills all year round. You can start by checking out Entergy Mississippi’s Entergy Solutions program. Through the Residential Lighting Program, you can get instant discounts on ENERGY STAR® certified CFL and LED lighting. Through the READI (Residential Energy Audit and Direct Install) Program, residential customers can sign up for a free home audit and get energy efficiency information and energy-saving items installed in the home at no additional cost. More energy efficiency programs for residential and business customers will roll out in early 2015.
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to approximately 441,000 customers in 45 counties. It 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 more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.