Summer’s heating up, time to think about ways to save on electric bills

(Jefferson, Ga., June 19, 2015)  As temperatures climb into the 90’s, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is reducing electric demand by briefly cycling off air conditioning compressors and some equipment of large commercial customers, all of which volunteered for the load management program. 
    While the cooperative doesn’t expect to meet its all-time summer peak this year, it is projecting a peak that’s 13 percent higher than the summers of 2013 and 2014, due to both warmer temperatures and area growth. 

    As electric companies manage demand, consumers can also take steps to take some of the heat off by reducing their use and saving on their electric bill.
Stay cool for less

    The biggest electric user is your air conditioning, so: 

  • Set your thermostat to 78°. 
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat that will adjust your home’s temperature to weekday and weekend routines. 
  • Don’t turn off your heat pump or air conditioning while you’re away from home; the heat that builds up in the house will cause your air conditioning to work much harder to get back to a comfortable temperature.
  • Use ceiling fans when you are in a room to provide additional cooling; they also provide better circulation, which reduces air conditioning costs. 
  • Clean and replace air conditioner filters monthly; maintain conditioning equipment with a professional tune-up. 
  • Keep lamps or TVs away from the thermostat; the heat from the appliance will cause the thermostat to misjudge the temperature in your home.
  • Close blinds and shades on the south-and west-facing windows of the home or install shading devices. 

Turn it off or turn it down

    Other appliances can also cause unnecessary increases in your electric bill, so:

  • Activate “sleep” features on computers and office equipment that power down when the equipment is not in use for a while. 
  • Turn off equipment during long periods of non-use to cut costs and improve longevity.
  •  Do full loads when you use clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers.
  • Use dimmers, timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs, which burn longer and produce less heat.
  • Use your microwave, slow cooker or outdoor grill to avoid using the oven and adding heat to your home.

For more energy-saving tips, go to www.jacksonemc.com/home.

Jackson EMC, the second largest electric cooperative in the nation, is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Atlanta in Jefferson, Georgia. The cooperative serves more than 217,500 meters and more than 203,000 individual accounts. In the last 12 months, its members used 5.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.