Ways to save on your energy bills
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Prices for groceries, gas and bills are going up which is stretching many families’ budgets. To offset these costs, there are a few ways -- recommended by local professionals -- that community members can conserve energy as the temperatures rise and children are at home more often with school being out, which tends to raise energy costs.
Fran Phoneix, an employee with Cleco Energy, said that humans use a lot of energy due to the wide range of activities that require it.
“We are high users,” Phoneix said. “You know, we consume or we use electricity for a lot.”
The first suggestion, coming from Phoneix, is to unplug.
“Laptops, tablets, I mentioned cell phones, game consoles. If you have a child, you probably have a game console,” Phoneix said. “And, if you’re like my kid, he’s always on it. Especially since school is out. Those are all appliances. Toasters -- you know, we sometimes keep them plugged up -- coffee makers; if they’re not being used, unplug them and turn them off. You’re not probably thinking ‘I’m using energy’. But you are because it’s still flowing. There’s consumption.”
Garrett Thompson, owner of 318 Heat and Air, said that regular maintenance can help.
“Biggest thing people can do right now is getting your unit maintenance -- proper maintenance and keeping them clean is going to be the life of your unit,” Thompson said. “Filters are essential. Keep those replaced and make sure that you’re checking them at least every month if you are not replacing them every month.”
Thompson also said that maintaining a relatively consistent temperature is important, even when you are gone from your home.
“Bump it a couple of degrees above what’s typically comfortable,” Thompson said. “Then, when you get home, cut it back down to your desired temperature. We don’t recommend cutting the system off while you leave or turning it extremely high. The system has to work so much harder at the end of the day to cool everything back down.”
He also suggests having a professional come to inspect the unit to make sure it is in top-running condition along with your insulation to ensure that your home is staying cool.
If you are still needing assistance with energy costs, contact your energy provider and see if they can help. Many providers have programs that can average your bill throughout the year. There are also government programs available like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Louisiana Energy Rental Assistance Program that can help as well.
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