Energy Saving Tips
The following tips can help you cut your energy consumption, the single largest influence on your energy bill. The City of Laurinburg works diligently to keep internal costs down.
Load Management - You can save as much as $48.00 per year simply by participating in the Load Management Program. If you have an electric water heater you can save $2.00 each month, or if you have a central electric air conditioning system, you can save $6.00 a month on your July, August, September and October utility bills. You can pick up a form at the Customer Services Department or call the Customer Services Department at 276-1521
Off Peak Billing - This program is designed to save you money. Make the choice to watch when you use power and save on your electric bill each month. A brochure is available in the Customer Services/Consumer Billing Department at 303 West Church Street.
Energy Audit - The City offers an Energy Audit program for your home to help you find any problems that could be causing your electric bill to run high. Brian Morrison will come into your home to suggest ways to decrease your electric bill. Please contact Brian at 291-1709 to schedule your energy audit.
- Set your thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature. We recommend 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Every degree above 70 costs an additional 3 percent to 5 percent. For instance, keeping your home at 75 degrees could cost nearly 30 percent more than keeping it at 70 degrees.
- During winter months, health permitting, it's best to lower the thermostat to between 60 to 65 degrees at night. By keeping your thermostat 10 degrees lower at night you'll save 10% to 20% in heating costs.
- With a heat pump, avoid large changes in thermostat settings. A dramatic increase in temperature may cause the supplemental heat strip to operate, forcing energy consumption much higher along with your costs.
- Change your filter regularly. Dirty filters increase heating and cooling costs.
- Caulk and weather-strip leaky doors and windows. Insulated or storm windows also help reduce unwanted heat loss.
- Open drapes on the sunny side (usually south and west) of your house during the day. You'd be surprised how efficiently that sunlight will warm those rooms. Close drapes and shades at night.
- Make sure drapes and furniture are not blocking air vents or returns.
- A portable heater may allow you to lower the temperature in the rest of the house, but it can also be expensive if used 24 hours. Limit use of portable heaters.
- Keep your central unit fan in the "auto" position. Leaving the fan "on" will force the fan to run 24 hours a day, adding as much as $15 a month to your heating costs.
- Keep the outside heating unit clear and clean.
- Close the flue when you aren't using your fireplace.
- Keep your thermostat set at 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. For every degree above 78, you'll save 6 percent to 8 percent on your cooling costs.
- When you leave home, set the thermostat up a bit.
- Change dirty filters. They should be checked monthly. Inexpensive filters should be changed monthly. Be sure the outside unit and indoor return are free of debris. You may want to hose off your outside unit a couple of times a year.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. We recommend the following types in your area: ceiling insulation R-30, walls R-11 to R-15, and floors R-19.
- Use a ceiling fan or portable fan along with your air conditioning. A fan can make you feel 4 degrees cooler and costs only a penny or so per hour to operate. It won't cool an empty room, though, so turn it off when you leave.
- Use shades or curtains to block direct sunlight on the sunny side (usually south and west) of your home.
- Strategically-placed trees and bushes outside the sunny sides can also save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- Whenever practical, use your microwave or countertop appliances for cooking. They usually cost less to operate and they don't heat the room the way a large oven does.
- Have a professional check your central unit once a year. A unit working improperly can force your bills higher, especially older units.
- For central air conditioning systems, set your thermostat fan switch to "auto". Running the central AC fan 24 hours a day can add up to $15 to your bill and doesn't cool any more effectively.
Good landscaping saves you money all year
- Carefully-positioned trees can save up to 25% of a household's heating and cooling costs. The U.S. Department of Energy says that only three trees planted strategically can save an average household $100 to $250 in energy costs per year.
- Deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in fall/winter) should be planted on the south and western sides of the house to shade during the summer while allowing light in during the winter.
- Evergreen trees and shrubs on the north and northwest sides can provide a windbreak.
- Also, shading your AC unit can make it run up to 10% more efficiently.