Spring has sprung! The flowers are starting to peak out of the ground, and birds are tweeting their songs. With the signs of spring all around us, it is easy to forget the extreme cold of this past February and how it could impact your electricity bill.
With temperatures well below freezing in most of our service area, some of our customers are beginning to see the impacts of weather on their bills. Both extreme cold and hot weather can impact your energy usage, sometimes without you even realizing it. When temperatures drop below freezing (and remain), it takes a lot more energy to heat your home and keep you comfortable. If you set your thermostat to 68° this year, in comparison to the same 68° temperature you set last year, your HVAC system would run for longer periods of time and use more energy this year. The kilowatt hours of energy usage for this year is larger and even at the same energy rate (kudos to you for being on a fixed price!) your overall bill amount would be higher.
In order to compare your bills, review and compare the usage during a month or year that had similar weather and temperatures. For our folks in Texas, the last time we saw frigid temperatures like the ones we just experience was in 1989. For customers in Pennsylvania and Ohio you will not have to venture so far back for years to compare. Remember to consider the number of days in your billing cycle as well. A longer billing cycle can result in a larger bill, just as a shorter cycle can result in a smaller one.
Even though we can't control the weather, there are plenty of ways to help conserve energy for the next time a cold front hits. Try some of the tips below to help save on your energy bill.
❄️ Set your programmable thermostat to a comfortable low temperature. Bundle up with extra sweaters and cozy blankets.
❄️ Seal drafty windows and doors! You can even use draft protectors like the ones we found here. Or if you are frugal like me, just use a rolled up towel to block drafts from your doorways. Keep cold air out and warm air in!
❄️ Replace your HVAC filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Clogged and dirty air filters will require your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy.
❄️ Reverse your fan. Set your ceiling fans to turn clockwise in the winter, which pushes warm air back down into the room, and counter clockwise in the summer.
❄️ Consider a home energy audit. We wrote an article about what you should look for in both a DIY and professional audit, read it here.
❄️ Set your thermostat fan to 'auto' instead of 'on'. When you use the auto fan setting the fan will only run when your HVAC is running, not continuously, which would be an energy waster.
Have questions about your bill or additional ways to save, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.