Duke Energy offers information to help customers save energy and money during the holiday season and cold weather months.
“Holiday displays are fun for families and communities, but can also add significantly to monthly power bills,” said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief customer officer. “Fortunately, there are a number of efficient, budget-friendly lighting options available to help control costs during the holiday season.”
Six 100-bulb sets of large, incandescent bulbs (600 bulbs total) plugged in six hours every evening can add up to $80 to a monthly power bill.
By comparison, six 100-bulb sets of similarly styled light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only about $7. Using six 100-bulb sets of mini-LED bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only $1.
• Before installing lights, check each set – new and old – for damaged sockets, loose connections and frayed or bare wires. Discard or replace damaged sets before using.
• Never use more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord.
• Plug exterior lights into ground-fault interruptible (GFI) outlets only. If the home lacks outside GFI outlets, call an electrician to install them.
• Dust your light bulbs regularly, as dirt absorbs light and wastes energy.
• Before climbing a ladder, inspect it to ensure it’s in good working condition and follow the weight limits specified on the ladder. Ladders that lean against a wall or other support should be angled so the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about one-quarter the working length of the ladder. Never use a ladder for any purpose other than for what it’s designed. Also, never use a ladder on or near power lines.
Cooking Efficiency Reminders
• Open your oven door as little as possible. An oven loses 25 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit each time the door is opened, making it work harder to maintain its temperature.
• Preheat ovens only when necessary.
• Cover pans to reduce the cooking time and amount of heat needed.
• Use smaller appliances, such as crockpots, toaster ovens and electric skillets whenever possible to save energy.
• Operate your dishwasher with a full load and select an energy-saving cycle whenever possible. Use the “air dry” or “overnight dry” setting.
• Don’t use the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses three to seven gallons of water each time.
Winter Efficiency Reminders
“Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures,” said Lanier. “One of the easiest things customers can do to support heating efficiency is to change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.”
• The thermostat is a real culprit of higher winter bills. To help save energy and money, select the lowest comfortable setting when home, and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.
• Regular service calls from a licensed technician will help to properly maintain your heating and cooling system.
• The ceiling fan in the home is a great way to stay warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.
• On sunny days, leave your drapes or blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house.