08:45 AM

Jackson EMC Offers Energy Saving Tips for the Winter

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a higher-than-normal chance of a warmer, drier winter in North Georgia, sustained cooler temperatures can still cause an increase in energy use as heating systems work harder and longer to keep homes and businesses warm.  

To save energy and money, Jackson EMC recommends you follow these tips:  

Energy Efficient Heating Habits  

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees. As a rule of thumb, your heating cost will increase 3% for each degree above 68 degrees. 
  • Only set your thermostat to “emergency heat” in the event the heat pump is not working. Since emergency heat costs nearly twice as much to operate, it should only be used in the case of system failure while awaiting repairs.  
  • Check and/or replace air filters every 1–2 months. Dirty or clogged air filters restrict airflow and cause your compressor to work harder, increasing costs. Clean filters save 5-15% on your electric bill. 
  • Use your fireplace sparingly as it draws your home’s heated air up the chimney.  
  • Homes with heat pumps: In the winter, nighttime setbacks and frequent thermostat changes will increase energy costs and are not recommended. Programmable and smart thermostats designed for heat pumps permit setbacks without increasing operating costs.  

Cut Energy Use Everywhere Else  

  • Activate “sleep” features on computers and office equipment that power down when the equipment is not in use for more than an hour.  
  • 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 LED lightbulbs, which burn longer and use less energy.  
  • Turn off or unplug unused appliances or lights.  

Plan for the Long Term  

  • Insulate floors, walls and attics to keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter.  
  • Have your HVAC unit tuned up. Consider a maintenance contract that provides a checkup prior to peak cooling and heating seasons twice a year. View Jackson EMC’s Preferred Contractor Network for a maintenance or installation professional at jacksonemc.com/contractors.    
  • If your HVAC unit is 10 years old or older, consider replacing it. New models are more energy efficient and may lower your electric bill. Jackson EMC offers rebates and low-interest loans for qualifying members. More details about these programs are available at jacksonemc.com/rebates.  
  • Sign up for budget billing, which can minimize the impact weather has on electric bills. Jackson EMC’s budget billing program works by averaging a member’s current and last 11 months of electric use, which becomes the new monthly payment amount. Visit jacksonemc.com/budgetbilling, to learn more.  
  • Learn about your home’s energy use with our Home Energy Monitor, an interactive program that provides personalized reports about energy use in your home and what you can do to save on your power bill. Go to jacksonemc.com/monitor to get started.  

For more money-saving tips, visit jacksonemc.com/waystosave.  

Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, the largest electric cooperative in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation, is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Atlanta in Jefferson, Ga. The cooperative serves more than 244,600 meters on 14,527 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com.