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Energy saving tips to keep your bill low as cold weather rolls back in

Photo courtesy of Mississippi Power

Very cold weather is moving into much of  Mississippi again this weekend, and it will likely be a long time before the warmer temperatures of spring return. That means now is the time to implement energy-saving tips to reduce energy usage and keep more cash in the bank.

“Saving on energy costs doesn’t have to mean giving up comfort,” said Robbin Jeter, Entergy Mississippi vice president of customer service. “There are many quick and inexpensive do-it-yourself projects that can help keep your home warm and keep the cold out.”

Entergy Mississippi has compiled a list of the top five winter energy savers:

  • Adjust the thermostat. During the winter months, grab a sweater or a blanket to stay toasty, and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill. So if you crank the heat up to 78 degrees, you’ve already added 30 percent.
  • Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at your local home improvement store and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
  • Replace air and furnace filters every 30 days or as required by the type of filter.
  • When you change your light bulbs, replace them with newer, energy-efficient models that use less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs.
  • Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home.

Other tips that can help reduce your energy bill include

  • Making sure you keep all doors and windows closed when the heat is on.
  • Open drapes to let warm sunlight in during the day. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
  • Schedule a heating system checkup with a licensed professional if you haven’t already done so.
  • Do not block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
  • Close the damper on fireplaces when not in use.
  • Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees if away from home for several days.

“Extreme temperatures in any season can bring spikes in your energy usage,” Jeter said. “Now is also a good time to sign up for level billing which helps eliminate spikes by paying an average amount each month. This is extremely helpful in managing budgets.”

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