11:26 AM

Jackson EMC offers cold weather energy tips

(JEFFERSON, GA. Jan. 21, 2019) – When frigid temperatures linger, energy use typically increases as heating systems work harder and longer to keep homes and businesses warm. Jackson EMC offers tips on how to manage energy costs during cold winter months.

Historically, Northeast Georgia continues to see freezing temperatures through February and March. To save money, Jackson EMC recommends you follow these energy efficient tips:

Energy Efficient Heating Habits

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

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees.
  • For homes with heat pumps, nighttime setbacks and frequent thermostat changes will increase energy costs and are not recommended. Programmable and smart thermostats designed for heat pumps allow 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 normal operation of a heat pump, 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 lightbulbs, which burn longer and use less energy.
  • Turn off or unplug unused appliances or lights.

Plan Long-Term

  • Insulate floors, walls and attics to keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • Get your air conditioner 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 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 www.jacksonemc.com/rebates.

For more money-saving tips, visit 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 visit www.jacksonemc.com/budgetbilling, to learn more.

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 230,000 meters on more than 14,000 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com.