LIST | Tips on how to cut energy costs during winter months – WTOL

LIST | Tips on how to cut energy costs during winter months – WTOL

FirstEnergy delivers some helpful ways to keeps energy costs down as we spend more time inside with the heat on.

As “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day” approaches on Jan. 10, FirstEnergy would like to remind people how they can manage their energy use while staying warm – especially as many people continue to spend more time at home during the pandemic.

While customers are unable to control the weather, there are several things they can do to keep their homes warm without seeing a significant spike in their electric bills.

The following tips will help customers use electricity wisely during the cold winter months:

  • Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your setting by just one degree can lower heating bills by 3%.
  • During the winter, the ideal thermostat temperature is 68 degrees when you’re at home, and lowering it while asleep or away.
  • Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. Seal any leaks with caulk or weather stripping to prevent cold air from sneaking into your home, which makes a furnace work harder to keep the home warm.
  • Air-leak detection methods include shining a flashlight at night over all potential gaps while a partner observes the house from outside. Large cracks will show up as rays of light. You can also shut a door or window on a dollar bill. If you can pull the dollar bill out without it dragging, you are losing energy due to an air leak.
  • Close the drapes at night. During the day, only open those that receive direct sunlight.
  • Change furnace filters regularly to ensure your heating system is working efficiently.
  • Keep registers for supply or return air free of obstructions like curtains or furniture.
  • Wrap exposed pipes and water heaters that are in unconditioned spaces.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. If you have less than six inches of insulation, you’ll benefit by adding more.
  • Locate your thermostat on an inside wall and away from windows and doors. Cold drafts can cause the thermostat to keep the system running unnecessarily.

With higher fuel costs expected to influence energy rates this winter, FirstEnergy also encourages its Ohio utility customers to evaluate electric supply deals that fit their budget and protect against rising energy prices.

The price of natural gas – which makes up the largest share of U.S. electricity generation – has been rising in recent months due to low inventory levels and continuing demand. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects natural gas prices to remain volatile over the winter months, with colder weather potentially driving demand and prices even higher. As these costs fluctuate, customers could see an increase in the rates they pay for electric generation.

In deregulated states like Ohio, FirstEnergy’s utilities deliver electricity to homes and business and bill for electricity, but customers have the ability to shop among a wide range of competitive energy suppliers for electric generation, which typically represents about half of a customer’s monthly bill. A variety of energy pricing options and plans are available from these suppliers. A careful review of those options could result in potential savings this winter.

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