LENOIR — Blue Ridge Energy urges members to prepare for cold weather by utilizing energy efficiency tips and resources.
While January has been warmer than normal, forecasts indicate that northwest North Carolina will experience below average temperatures during the coming weeks. Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your home’s ability to stay warm, causing stress to heating systems and leading to higher energy costs.
Members received money back on November and December bills in the form of bill credits primarily because wholesale power cost was lower than projected. While Blue Ridge Energy passed along this $7.4 million in savings to members, the refunds were completed with the December billing cycle. Blue Ridge Energy always strives to help members stay ahead of high heating costs and keep bills as low as possible so the cooperative is recommending the following tips to help:
1. Lower your thermostat: Keeping thermostats set to the lowest comfortable setting can make a positive impact on winter bills. When temperatures drop, heating systems work overtime to heat your home. Lowering thermostats can decrease the work load for your heating system.
2. Find and fix air leaks: Caulk and seal any area that may be leaking your home’s heat outside. Consider using tools like foam gaskets behind outlet covers, draft stoppers around doors and caulk around windows or any wiring or plumbing to reduce heating loss in areas that have a draft.
3. Change filters: Change air filters regularly. A dirty furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder, which uses more energy and drives up energy costs, to keep you warm.
4. Check your heating system: Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.
5. Take advantage of usage tools: Usage Tracker is a free tool for Blue Ridge Energy members that shows your daily electricity usage and the impacts of weather temperatures. It’s available under My Account at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com or through the Blue Ridge mobile app.
Winter weather can have a large impact on energy usage during this time of year. Adhering to these five tips can help members manage the stress of colder weather on home-heating systems and help keep your energy bill lower.
More energy efficiency tips are available on the cooperative’s website at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com/101