01
December
2014
|
06:00 AM
America/New_York

Enter Power-Saving Mode

Signing On For Energy Savings

I’m new to Jackson EMC; to the staff at least. I’ve been a member for 22 years, but I never thought too much about my electric bill. It isn’t too high and I actually have it drafted right out of my checking account, the same amount each month. I just flip the switch and the lights keep turning on.

I never considered tapping into the tools and services Jackson EMC has to help customers cut costs – that is until I joined the public relations team here in October. Then, I started actually using all of these super easy tools I’d been reading about for years in Jemco News.

First, I completed my online home energy profile. I answered questions about:

  • Who lives there? Two cute kids and two exhausted parents.
     
  • What type of insulation we have? The yellow kind.
     
  • Thermostat setting? A cool 72 in the summer and warm 78 in the winter because the temperature inside should be opposite to the outdoors.
     
  • How high we heat our water? Lava setting
     
  • Number of refrigerators and freezers? Three. Because you never know when 100 people will show up for dinner.
     
  • Number of TVs and computers and how much we use them? Lots of them, and every minute we are home.
     
  • How often we cook? More often when the talented chef/brother-in-law is in town.
     
  • And wash our clothes? A whole lot because those cute kids are messy, too.
     
  • And, alas, no pool despite years of pleading with the other bill payer.

After answering those few questions, I learned I spend most of my money heating my house in the winter, which I will blame on my seasonal relatives. And heating my water to a near lava temperature costs a lot of money too. The food I hoard in my house waiting on the army to arrive costs about $11 a month to keep cold. The lights my kids leave on in every room, $8 a month.

I also saw how changes in the weather affect my bill from month-to-month and year-to-year. For instance, this fall was warmer than last year, so I am paying more to chill the air inside. My profile also tells me I can save money if I raise my cooling setting from 72 to 78 degrees. That might not happen, but I can save even more money if I actually use the programmable thermostat I already have.

I had always heard it takes more energy to change the temperature in the house rather than maintain it; that’s not true. Using my programmable thermostat to heat or cool the house just before we get home will save me nearly $500 a year. That’s a little embarrassing to learn since I actually have the thermostat.

If I could save that much by simply using something I already own. I wondered what I could save if I invested in new things, such as more insulation. I scheduled a Personal Home Fitness Evaluation with Home Diagnostic Solutions, a Jackson EMCapproved performance testing contractor. I called Paul Leroy to set it up. He told me mine was the 84th evaluation scheduled by Jackson EMC members this year.

“This will be an educational experience because there are lots of things you may have never thought of before,” he said. I chose not to tell him about the thermostat.

He also let me know that after my evaluation, if I complete the recommendations made, I could qualify for a lower energy rate. And there are rebates. If I decide to upgrade our water heater, Jackson EMC will give me $500 and another $400 if I need a new heat pump. Stay tuned; I’ll let you know how it goes.