Summer means rising temperatures, and Duke Energy is helping customers save with easy, low- to no-cost do-it-yourself projects and tips to prepare for summer’s heat.
“We typically see energy use spike in the summer since air conditioning is one of the biggest energy users in your home,” said Barbara Higgins, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief customer officer. “We offer free programs, tools and tips to help customers track and manage their energy use, so they can take control and avoid billing surprises.”
Low- to no-cost energy efficiency tips
High temperatures can lead to higher energy usage and bills as people try to stay cool. Below are some tips to help manage your energy use.
- Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes an HVAC system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your energy usage and bill will be.
- Close blinds, drapes and curtains during the hottest part of the day. Keeping your blinds, drapes and curtains closed will help prevent the sun’s rays from heating your house.
- Use a ceiling fan in occupied rooms to supplement your air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction to push cool air down into living spaces.
- Grill outdoors. Using your electric oven and stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors or prepare meals that don’t require cooking.
- 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.
5 easy energy efficiency projects for your home
Sealing air leaks and installing faucet aerators will help you save money by using less energy. These tips and videos will show you how with step-by-step instructions. And, if you have a home improvement project that requires a contractor, Find It Duke can provide free referrals.
- Install switch and outlet seals. Cooled air that escapes means your home’s cooling system works harder. Installing seals behind electric switches and outlets on exterior walls helps keep the cool air in, and warm air out.
- Apply weatherstripping to doors. Keep cooled air inside your home with self-adhesive weatherstripping on door frames.
- Caulk around windows and doors. Applying a bead of caulk around windows and doors is a simple way to keep cool air inside.
- Replace showerhead. You can reduce the amount of water you use by about 30% after replacing your showerhead with a low-flow model. This energy saving feature saves water, of course, but also cuts down on energy usage if you have an electric water heater.
- Install a faucet aerator. An aerator on the kitchen faucet will use less water, conserve energy and lower your energy costs.
Track and manage your energy usage
Customers can also easily track and adjust their usage all summer long.
- Customers with smart meters can check online to view their daily usage. 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 bills.
- Duke Energy customers with smart meters also receive usage alerts through email and/or text halfway through their billing cycle, well before their bill arrives, with their current usage amount and a projection of what their final monthly bill could be.
- Customers can also set budget alerts, so they know when their bill reaches a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to adjust their usage and help save money on their bill.
- Customers without smart meters can 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.
Other energy-saving programs, tips and guidance to help you manage higher energy bills that can result from increased energy is available at Duke-Energy.com/Summer.