High temperatures in the low- to mid-90s are expected to persist in the Southern Crescent heading into the work week, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service.
For many, it means an increased use of air conditioners at home, and in turn, increased monthly power bills. However, Georgia Power officials are recommending ways for residents to save as they try to stay cool during the warmer summer months.
The air conditioner is usually the biggest user of electricity, and accounts for more than half of the summer electric bill at many homes, according to Carol Boatright, a spokeswoman for Georgia Power.
Boatright suggests residents regularly change their air filters and set their thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there. She estimates, for every degree below that setting, homeowners will use 3 percent to 4 percent more electricity.
The spokeswoman advises residents use the range instead of the oven when cooking in the kitchen. Also, the microwave or pressure cooker are two appliances that use less power than the standard electric range.
“When using the dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle if you don’t need the dishes right away,” said Boatright. “Run the dishwasher, dryer and stove in the morning or after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest part of the day.”
Boatright said other Georgia Power tips like maintaining proper insulation in the home and airtight sealing for windows, doors, and the refrigerator to reduce energy costs. Also, changing the most-used lights in the home to ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs will save as much as 75 percent of energy, compared to standard lighting.
“Georgia Power is committed to finding ways to help our customers save money and stay comfortable all summer long,” said Angela Strickland, Georgia Power’s Director of Energy Efficiency. “Making even a few changes can help customers save up to 15 percent on their annual energy bills.”
Strickland points homeowners to the utility company’s online energy checkup, at www.georgiapower.com, to learn about rebates Georgia Power offers through its Home Energy Improvement Program. To schedule a free in-home energy audit, call 1-800-524-2421, and select option 3. Tips are also available on Twitter at @GeorgiaPower.