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Don’t let summer temperatures heat up your utility bill
Published Thursday, June 30, 2011 4:50 PM
Green Living: Energy-Saving Tips from Santee Cooper

Steamy summer weather has many of us searching for ways to cool down. Santee Cooper has a number of hot-weather tips to help you save energy and money so you don’t lose your cool as the temperatures heat up.

“As temperatures increase, it takes more energy for cooling equipment to keep up with the heat and that will affect energy bills,” said Mike Poston, vice president of Retail Services for Santee Cooper. “There are a number of easy, affordable ways for consumers to be smart about their energy consumption and protect their wallets at the same time.”

To help keep your utility bills in line, Santee Cooper recommends keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Setting the thermostat at 78 degrees instead of 72 degrees can save up to 18 percent on your cooling bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

To help keep yourself cool without turning down the thermostat, use a ceiling fan in the room you’re occupying. The U.S. Department of Energy says ceiling fans can make a room feel as much as 7 degrees cooler and use significantly less energy than lowering the thermostat. The key is to remember to turn it off when leaving the room to conserve even more energy.

Keep your air conditioning unit in its best working condition with regular maintenance, including changing the air filters on a monthly basis. Air filters are a small expense that can make a big impact on your energy usage and your wallet. Securely-placed weather stripping around windows and doors is also an affordable solution for keeping cool air in your home and hot air out.

Use hot water only when necessary and in the cooler evening hours of the day. Your HVAC unit has to work harder to keep your home cool if the shower or dish washer is releasing steam. Also, consider using a microwave for cooking instead of the oven or stovetop.

If you’re in the market for new cooling equipment or appliances, select an energy-efficient model. Santee Cooper customers should also visit www.ReduceTheUse.com for information on the utility’s refrigerator, HVAC and water heater rebates. The website also has more information on low-interest Smart Energy Loans for qualified borrowers.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. The ultimate source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state’s leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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