Warning: Hot Summer Ahead!
Entergy provides ways to chill your bill while keeping your cool
NEW ORLEANS – Temperatures hit record levels across much of Louisiana in May, and no relief from the heat is in sight in the months ahead. So now is the time to take action to control your energy usage before summer electricity bills come due. Implementing simple steps now can add up to big energy savings later.
“We want our customers to stay comfortable year-round, but let’s face it – it takes a lot of energy to run your air conditioner continuously during the summertime. Even with our low rates, fighting off the heat can result in higher electric bills,” said Melonie Stewart, acting vice president of customer service in Louisiana. “But there are steps you can take now to make your home more energy efficient year-round, and these measures can add up to energy savings as well as a comfortable living space.”
Here are some simple things you can do to chill your bill this summer:
- Proper attic insulation is the No. 1 way to conserve energy. Without proper insulation, half of the energy we use to heat and cool our homes can simply escape.
- Insulation is available in rolled batting, loose fill, boards or foam and can be used in attics, on floors, in walls or around pipes. Each type of insulation has a different R-value, which is its resistance to heat loss, so it may take more of one type of insulation to get the same R-value.
Keep the Heat Out
- Anything that keeps heat from entering your home can help lower your electric bill. Close drapes, blinds or shades to prevent sun from coming in, and caulk or seal openings around walls, doorways and windows.
- And just like wearing light-colored clothing can help reflect the summer sun, painting your house a light color also can help reflect heat and keep your house cooler. Consider installing solar screens on windows for additional heat reflection.
- Trees or bushes that provide shade can help – just make sure they aren’t planted near or under power lines!
Use the Air Conditioner Wisely
- Air conditioning and heating makes up more than half of your electric bill, so make sure to get it inspected and cleaned annually.
- Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Each degree below 78 will add approximately 3 percent to the cost of your electric bill. Even if you never adjust the thermostat, your unit has to work harder during the summer months to keep your house at the temperature you have set.
- Fans can be a huge help in circulating cooler air. Make sure ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise in the summer to take advantage of the airflow.
- Appliances use a lot of electricity, so it makes sense to invest in ones that meet the government’s ENERGY STAR rating.
- Keep refrigerator doors closed and keep the temperature between 35 and 38 degrees in the fridge and between zero and five degrees in the freezer. A refrigerator that is set 10 degrees colder can use up to 25 percent more energy.
- If you have a second refrigerator in the garage that you don’t use often, unplug it. Garages can get very hot, causing the second fridge to work overtime.
- Also, you can lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees and install an insulation blanket as well.
- LED bulbs don’t give off as much heat, burn longer and use less energy than ordinary bulbs. In fact, LED lights are up to 80 percent more efficient than traditional lighting, such as fluorescent and incandescent lights.
- Turn off lights when they aren’t being used, and consider using a timer that can turn the lights off for you.
- Unplug electronic devices like televisions, DVRs, video games, cell phones – even chargers – when you are not using them. An easy fix is to plug devices that do not require constant power into a power strip that you can flip off when not needed.
- Many of these devices continue using electricity when not in use, and according to ENERGY STAR’s website, this “phantom power” adds more than $100 to the cost of an average household’s electric bill each year.
More tips, as well as clear, do-it-yourself videos, to help put these ideas to work can be found at entergy.com/savemoney. And if you live in Orleans Parish, you can visit Energy Smart, a New Orleans program that offers incentives and rebates on a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades year-round.
In addition to reducing your usage through energy-efficient measures, you may want to sign up for Level Billing to help eliminate the spikes extreme temperatures can bring. Level Billing calculates your billing history over the previous 12 months and allows you to pay an average amount each month.
Other convenient payment options include:
- Pick-A-Date, which allows you to choose the date your bill is due.
- Automatic Monthly Payments, which saves you the trouble of writing and mailing checks.
Entergy also assists elderly and disabled low-income customers through its customer-assistance fund, The Power to Care, that is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. To find out how to get assistance, or to contribute to the fund, visit entergy.com or check the donation box on your monthly bill.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. The company has operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana.
Entergy New Orleans, LLC is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 200,000 customers and natural gas to more than 106,000 customers. Both companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.