Power pros share tips to saving money this summer

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Written by Trent Thompkins, intern with The Messenger

It’s been a scorcher already this summer with temperatures rising into the upper 90s.

And that rise in temperatures can be uncomfortable for people, and their wallets.

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“We usually see a rise in bills around this time of year,” said Chellie Phillips, who handles media relations for the South Alabama Electric Cooperation in Troy. “Usually that rise is weather related.”

Phillips stressed the importance of maintaining home appliances because that can help cut down on energy output.

“Make sure to change filters monthly and get a heating and cooling agency to observe your air conditioning and heating unit every couple of years,” Phillips said.

“The key word: minimize,” Phillips said about the usage of all household appliances.

According to the Alabama Power representative, Keisa Sharpe, the price of your electric bill can also significantly drop by keeping watch and adjusting your household appliances to an efficient level. Alabama Power also recommends using smaller appliances, such as a microwave or toaster oven, to warm food. These smaller appliances use about one-third the power of an oven, and also cut down on the amount of heat in a living space.

One way to lower your bill is by setting your thermostat at a higher temperature, preferably 78 degrees or above, and use fans to circulate the cool air throughout the house.

“That is a good average temperature,” Phillips said, noting that every little bit counts. “Every degree that goes below 78, your bill will rise 3 to 5 percent higher for each degree you lower it,” Phillips said.

Keeping outside doors closed and using dark-colored blinds, shades and draperies are also ways to lower a temperature inside a home without bumping the thermostat down.

Sometimes, the financial burden of growing power bills is too much and people might find themselves needed help with payments. Locally, the Organized Community Outreach Program on Three Notch Street in Troy, is offering monetary assistance with power bills throughout the summer to help low-income families who qualify.

For more information visit ocaptroy.com, or call 566-1712.