Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter
1. Regulate Your Thermostat
Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees if your health permits. Resist the urge to crank up the thermostat as it’s unlikely to put a strain on the furnace and your energy bill. Instead, wear an extra layer or use blankets to keep warm.
2. Change Furnace Filters
Check and change furnace filters to ensure optimum airflow. Rule of thumb: Change filter every 3 months; 2 months if you have pets or family members have allergies.
3. Keep Occupied Space Warm
Close furnace registers and doors to unoccupied rooms to keep occupied rooms warmer, which will help reduce consumption.
4. Keep Vents Clear
High efficiency furnaces have vents leading outside. Make sure they are not blocked with ice or debris. Inside, make sure vents are not covered by rugs or furniture.
5. Seal Ducts
Seal ducts around the joints to keep warm air from seeping out.
6. Switch Fans Clockwise
Use ceiling fans to distribute warm air by reversing the fans so the blades turn clockwise during the winter.
7. Let the Sunshine In!
Use heat from the sun’s rays to help warm your home during the day. Close blinds and curtains at night to provide another layer of insulation against the windows.
8. Turn Off and Unplug
Turn off and unplug non-essential lights, appliances and electronics.
9. Delay Household Chores
Laundry and dishes to do? Can you go one more day without doing them? Postpone using major electric appliances like stoves, dishwashers, and clothes washers and dryers. These appliances use an extensive amount of energy, especially if they are used at the same time.
10. Bundle up!
Grab your favorite blanket, slippers and a warm beverage to keep yourself warm before thinking about turning up the temperature inside.
11. Opt for an Easy Meal
Make microwave, slow cooker or toaster-oven friendly meals to save energy.
Bill Payment Assistance Resources
Eligible households may apply for bill pay assistance through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program at 800-432-0043 or online.
Income-eligible homeowners and renters may also be eligible for assistance through Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.
United Way Worldwide 211.org is a comprehensive source of information about local resources and services available. Visit www.211.org for more information.
Benefits.gov is another resource that can help find benefits you may be eligible to receive and direct you to the agency to apply.
Factors that Influence the Price of Electricity
- Fuels | High demand for electricity can increase demand for fuels, including natural gas. Higher demand results in higher costs to generate electricity.
- Power Plants | The cost of constructing, maintaining and operating power plants influences the price of electricity.
- Transmission & Distribution | Much of the cost associated with supplying electricity to consumers is in cost of transmitting the electricity from the power plant to the end user. This includes maintenance and upkeep along the way.
- Weather Conditions | Rain, snow and wind generate hydropower and wind energy. These provide low cost electricity. Extreme weather can raise prices. The cost of electricity is usually highest in the summer when demand is high for cooling.
- Regulations | Where you live has an influence on what you pay for electricity. Some states have fully regulated prices. Others have a combination of both. Some states have deregulated energy (gas and electric) markets, including Texas.