Duke Energy Helps North Carolina Customers Manage Electricity Costs as Summer Heat Continues
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Hot weather can lead to higher energy bills as Duke Energy customers in North Carolina try to stay cool this summer. The company is offering free tools and tips to help customers manage those costs.
"We know that June brought above-average temperatures here in North Carolina, a trend that will likely continue through the summer months," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "Our goal is to ensure our customers have the information and tools they need to help control their energy costs."
Ways to manage summer electricity bills
Duke Energy offers free programs and tools to help customers better understand and manage their energy expenses. Keep in mind that the further your thermostat setting is from the actual temperature outside, the more energy you'll use. Here are some tips to help manage costs:
- Equal Payment Plan gives customers better control over their energy spending by establishing predictable monthly payments.
- Our online savings calculators help customers understand how their homes use energy - and how they can potentially reduce their consumption and better manage their summer bills.
- Customers can also sign up to receive High Bill Alerts for when adverse weather is projected to increase their electric bills by at least 30 percent and $30 compared to historical usage.
- Customers with smart meters can check online to view their daily usage tool. Smart meters collect usage information by the hour, so checking spikes throughout the month - by day and even hour - can show what appliances and behaviors are increasing their bill.
Low- to no-cost summer tips
- Set your AC to the comfortable setting that meets your lifestyle needs. Hot summer days can mean higher energy bills. The further your thermostat setting is from the temperature outside, the higher your energy bill will be.
- Change or clean your air filters monthly. A dirty air filter can make a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Inspect and service your HVAC. Have your HVAC system checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to make sure it is operating efficiently. This will also help extend the life of the system.
- Don't cool an empty house. If you'll be out and about, adjust or program your thermostat to work around your schedule.
- Close the blinds. Shutting blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day can keep the sun's rays from heating your house.
- Grill outdoors. Cooking in the oven and on the stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors, or prepare meals that don't require cooking.
- Use fans in occupied rooms. They circulate air to supplement air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
- Turn off unnecessary lights. Be sure to turn off lights when you leave a room. Lights emit heat and cause your air conditioning system to work harder.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
- Seal air leaks with caulking and weatherstripping. And keep the door closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.