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  • Jim Earley (GA Power)

Tips tp Help Lower Your Power Bill This Winter

Summertime has finally come to a close. It's now time to begin taking action to help lower your energy bill before the winter season hits hard. Georgia Power, your Energy Expert, suggests the following simple no-cost or low-cost ideas designed to save you big bucks on your energy bill, whether you're a homeowner or business owner.

Adjust Thermostats

Set your thermostat to a cooler temperature, especially when the building is not occupied. We recommend between 68 to 70 degrees this winter for maximum efficiency. (No cost)

Seal Heating and Cooling Ductwork

Ductwork leaks in areas such as joints, elbows and connections can be substantial - as much as 20 to 30 percent of your heating and cooling cost. This is especially costly if the ducts travel through unheated or uncooled spaces such as attics, basements or crawl spaces. Use duct tape or caulk to seal ductwork. (Low cost)

Replace Air Filters Regularly and follow maintenance schedules for furnace and air-conditioning equipment. Replacing a dirty air filter can save money by reducing the amount of electricity needed to run a blower motor, because there is less resistance to airflow with a clean filter. (Low cost)

Install Programmable Thermostats

These inexpensive devices, most incorporating modern microprocessor-based electronics, can optimize your building's heating and cooling needs. And you won't need to remember to change thermostat settings every time you open or close your business or go to bed or wake up at home.

Turn Off Machines and Equipment When Not Needed

While this advice is directed more toward businesses, it can also apply to appliances at home. For example, when you leave a room, turn off the lights. This simple approach can be a money saver. (No cost)

Buy Energy Efficient Equipment

When buying or replacing computers or office equipment for a business, or appliances for your home, always look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR certified products are 15 to 50 percent more energy-efficient that standard models. More than 40 product categories are rated, including homes, appliances, lighting, office equipment, consumer electronics, and heating and cooling equipment. (Low cost)

Keep Exterior Doors Closed

Don't heat the outdoors this winter. (No cost)

Reduce the Hot Water Temperature

Reducing the temperature on your water heater thermostat can decrease heat loss from your tank. For washing hands, you may be able to turn the temperature to 110 degrees F. Dishwashing may require higher temperature settings such as 130 degrees F. (No cost)

Encourage Everyone to be Energy-Conscious

Whether you are a business owner or homeowner, everyone that works at the business or lives in your home, should be encouraged to be energy-conscious. If everyone participates in the listed energy saving activities, the savings will be multiplied. (No cost)

Consider Energy-Efficient Lighting

When replacing lighting, always look for more energy-efficient lamps. New flourescent or LED technologies are becoming more affordable and have a quick payback. If you own a business GA Power's Commercial Energy Efficiency Program offers rebates to help offset some of the cost of lighting upgrades. (No cost)

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