Utility bills climb during cold weather - CBS46 News

Utility bills climb during cold snap

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Palmetto Electric is reminding consumers about the effect that cold weather can have on energy consumption.

The utility company offered tips for keeping electric bills low. It recommends keeping the thermostat set at 68 degrees in the winter. Each degree above 68 will add approximately 4-8 percent to the heating cost, according to a news release from Palmetto Electric.

"Consumers should be especially cautious about not switching their thermostat to the ‘Emergency Heat' setting as this will cause usage to skyrocket," said Tom Upshaw, Palmetto Electric's president and CEO. 

The company determined that each winter many high bills result from consumers mistakenly switching from the heat setting to emergency heat.

Palmetto Electric offered these tips for saving on heating costs:

  • Set thermostats at 55 degrees in a home that is vacant for a week or longer.
  • Caulk around doors and windows.  Replace or remove loose or cracked caulking.
  • Weather-stripping is key to preventing heat loss. Seal doors and windows to prevent drafts.  Install inexpensive sweeps on doors to keep out the cold. Don't forget to weather-strip your attic access. 
  • Get a qualitified technician to clean and tune up central heating systems each year.
  • Keep air filters clean.  The air filter of a central heating system should be replaced once a month during the heating season if a disposable filter is used.
  • Have your chimney checked by a qualified chimney sweep and check your fireplace damper to be sure it opens and closes properly.

Get more energy saving tips at www.palmetto.coop and click Together We Save.

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