Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

January 28, 2014

Five tips can cut winter electricity bills


The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Weeks after a polar vortex that resulted in customers setting all-time marks for winter power use across communities served by Duke Energy Indiana, the company continues to suggest ways to save energy and money on power bills during colder weather, reports spokesperson Angeline Protogere.

Doug Esamann, Duke Energy Indiana president, says, “The month of January has delivered record cold temperatures across communities served by Duke Energy. When temperatures dip – especially to historic lows – bills are higher. It’s important for customers to remember simple steps they can take to save money on their power bills and heat their homes and businesses efficiently.”

• The thermostat is a real culprit of higher winter bills. To help save energy and money, select the lowest comfortable setting when home, and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.

• Have the HVAC system checked regularly by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to maintain efficiency and peak performance. Through the Smart $aver® program, customers can get rebates for choosing to make their home run more efficiently. Customers may visit www.duke-energy.com/smartsaver to learn more.

• During sunny days, leave drapes or blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house.

• Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures. One of the easiest things customers can do to support heating efficiency is to change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy. Duke Energy Indiana customers can get $50 toward the optimization of their heating and cooling system through an HVAC Health Check. Details are available at www.duke-energy.com/improve.

• Replace standard bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs are more efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light. Duke Energy Indiana offers discounted CFL and LED bulbs through a partnership with Energizing Indiana at https://energizingindiana.com/programs/residential-lighting/.

More tips are offered at www.duke-energy.com. Just click on the “save energy and money” link.

Tools to understand energy use

Customers interested in saving money on their bills are encouraged to visit www.duke-energy.com and sign up for the Online Services program. Once registered, customers can complete a brief survey to create a personalized energy report with customized recommendations for saving energy and money for their home, gain insights into how their home uses energy and how it compares to similar homes.

Billing and payment options

Duke Energy Indiana offers a number of billing and payment options to help customers conveniently pay their bills. As an example, the Budget Billing program helps them avoid seasonal energy spikes and control their budget by providing predictable monthly payments. Free paperless billing and online payment programs are also available. Visit the “billing and payment” page on the Web site.

Energy assistance programs

The Duke Energy Indiana Helping Hand program provides financial assistance to local agencies to help customers with their winter heating costs. In 2013, the utility and its customers donated nearly $800,000 in assistance across its Indiana service areas through Helping Hand. Duke Energy Indiana partners with the Indiana Community Action Association and Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which distributes the company’s assistance funds.