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Look around, unplug to save energy, money this winter
Published Wednesday, February 02, 2011 10:55 AM
Green Living: Energy-Saving Tips from Santee Cooper

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Due to the long stretch of cold weather in South Carolina, many of us are spending more time indoors this winter watching television, surfing the Internet, listening to music and flipping on the lights to help battle those dreary days. Santee Cooper reminds you to be energy conscious when the cold is keeping you and your family inside.

“If your family is spending more time indoors than usual, it can lead to an increase in energy usage and higher utility bills,” said Zack Dusenbury, vice president of retail services. “And if you have more than one person in your household, many of your lights and electronic devices could be in use at the same time.”

Whether you live with one, two or five other people, being aware of the energy usage in your home is the first step toward saving money.

Many people, especially children, have a tendency to walk out of a room without turning out the lights. To save energy, periodically walk through your home to turn off lights that aren’t being used and remind the kids to flip the switch on their way out.

Investing in energy-efficient lighting also can save money and energy. Check the lights throughout your home and replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs use significantly less energy than traditional bulbs, and that can be especially helpful when your whole family is spending more time indoors with the lights on.

Just like turning off the lights, turning off televisions, DVD players and radios when they’re not being used will save energy. Keep in mind that even when turned off, many electronics use electricity if they’re plugged in. To ease this problem, consider purchasing power strips. Turn off the TV or radio and the power strip to save more energy. Don’t forget about adding power strips for the TVs, DVD players and radios located in bedrooms.

Computer use can also increase when your family spends more time indoors. Encourage your family to turn off the monitor when stepping away from the computer for a short period of time. Again, unplugging the computer or using power strips will save you energy and help lower your utility bills.

Lastly, cuddle up. Instead of turning the heat up past the recommended 68 degrees, put on a warm sweater while emailing friends or cuddle under a blanket with your family to keep warm while watching TV.

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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