08:05 AM

Freezing Holiday Weekend Temperatures Impacting Member Bills

The Christmas holiday weekend brought record-setting low temperatures across Jackson EMC’s 10-county service area. When the temperatures dropped to single digits, people ran their heating systems longer to combat the frigid temperatures outside. Increases in energy consumption will likely lead to higher bills. Some members are receiving bills now that include those days of extreme weather impact.  

Members can log in to the MyJacksonEMC website or app to view their energy use and how their holiday weekend compares to other time periods. Energy use is broken down by the day, month and year.  

Historically, Northeast Georgia sees freezing temperatures into February and March. Many variables can contribute to higher energy bills. To save money, Jackson EMC recommends members follow these energy efficient tips: 

Energy Efficient Heating Habits  

Nearly half of the electricity used at home goes to condition the air inside. To lower costs, the HVAC unit needs to run less.  

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower. 
  • Homes with heat pumps: 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. 
  • Only set the thermostat to “emergency heat” in the event the heat pump is not working. Since emergency heat costs nearly twice as much to operate as the heat pump during normal operation, it should not be used except 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. 
  • Use the fireplace sparingly. It draws your home’s heated air up the chimney. 
  • Ensure proper airflow to indoor supply and return vents, and around your outdoor unit. Do not block indoor supply and return vents with furniture or other objects. Keep the outdoor unit free of leaves, grass, shrubs, snow, or anything else that can block airflow. 

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 light bulbs, which burn longer and use less energy. 
  • Turn off or unplug any unused appliances or lights.  

 Plan long-term 

  • Insulate floors, walls and attics to keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter.  
  • Install smart thermostats in your home. Smart thermostats conserve energy by customizing heating and cooling based on your patterns and preferences. Members can save on purchasing smart thermostats with an instant rebate from the Jackson EMC Marketplace at jacksonemcmarketplace.com.    
  • Get your HVAC tuned-up. Consider a maintenance contract that provides a checkup twice a year, prior to peak cooling and heating seasons. 
  • If your HVAC unit is 10 years old or more, consider replacing it. New models are more 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 www.jacksonemc.com/rebates.  

For more money-saving tips, check out the list at http://www.jacksonemc.com/waystosave.   

To minimize the impact weather has on electric bills, many electric utilities offer billing options that level out the costs from summer and winter energy usage over a 12-month period. Jackson EMC’s budget billing plan for members works by averaging the current month and the last 11 months of electric use, which becomes the new monthly payment amount. Members interested in budget billing should call their local office at 1-800-462-3691 or learn more at www.jacksonemc.com/budgetbilling.  

Jackson EMC has always been sensitive to its members’ ability to pay their bills. And we know, every member’s situation is different. Our customer service representatives are empowered to work with members to address their individual circumstances. Please call us as soon as possible if you need to discuss payment options. You can reach us at 1-800-462-3691 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.  

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 250,000 meters on 14,000 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com.