Resist the temptation to push your thermostat above the recommended setting of 68 degrees. With the temperatures what they’ve been last night and today, it’s going to be enough of a struggle for heating systems to meet that 68 degree setting. Pushing it up might make you feel warm and toasty at the moment, but you’ll regret it when you get the bill.
“It’s going to be tough enough for members who set their thermostat at 68 degrees and leave it there,” says Gail Morton, supervisor of customer service for Horry Electric. “With the outdoor temperatures as cold as they have been, heating systems are running longer than normal to just keep the indoor temperature at 68.”
A system running longer means more electricity is used.
Here’s how it works. The amount of energy used, called consumption, by furnaces, heat pumps or baseboard heaters is directly related to how long they run. Because they are connected to a thermostat, they run when the temperature drops a few degrees below the thermostat set point in your home. When the outside temperature is colder than normal, more heat is lost through the ceiling, walls, floors, and openings such as windows and doors. The thermostat senses this extra heat loss and operates the furnace more often to keep up with the heat loss. The longer the unit operates, the higher the energy consumption, which results in a higher electric bill.
“A spike of higher energy consumption due to colder weather can have a significant impact on your total bill, especially if extreme temperatures continue for several days” says Morton.
“So members won’t be totally surprised when the bill comes after this cold snap, we’re proactively encouraging everyone to take advantage of signing up to watch their daily energy use with MyUsage.com,” says Morton.
MyUsage.com, provided FREE to members, is already used by more than 2,500 members of the Cooperative. ”We use this and it does help to cut down some,” responded one member when the Cooperative posted a notice about the program on the Horry Electric Facebook page. ”You can actually see what you use daily. I always know when I wash clothes, it is the highest that day.”
A powerful tool.
Being able to monitor your energy use is a powerful tool when it comes to managing the dollars you spend for the energy used in your home. The immediate feedback gives you a chance to alter your behavior and make changes before you get your electric bill.
Visit horryelectric.com and dig through the comprehensive guide to energy savings to see what you might be able to do to map out a plan of action to get more out of the energy dollars you spend. There isn’t much we can do about the weather, but we can each take control of how we use energy in our homes and businesses.