The dead of winter brings colder temperatures, resulting in higher energy bills. Even though we are in the business of selling energy and meeting your electricity needs, we do not want you to waste money and pay more than you should. Taking time to do some of the little things correctly can add up to big savings on your electric bill and leave extra money in your pocket.
Energy efficiency remains a key part of our efforts to keep your power costs down. Best of all, energy efficiency—simply making the electricity you use do more—saves you money.
I encourage you to visit the Manage My Energy section of the RandolphEMC.com website. There are several online tools available to suggest simple energy-saving ideas you can implement in your home to help reduce your energy use, and we’re happy to provide paper copies of this information for anyone who requests them.
We also have energy use advisors on staff to assist you with operating your homes and businesses as efficiently as possible. They have performed hundreds of energy audits over the years. Here are a few of the major issues they typically find that result in inefficient electricity use:
Problem: Low refrigerant in the heat pump or air conditioner. This causes the system to revert to auxiliary heat (strip heat) which uses up to 3 times the energy of the heat pump.
Solution: Have a qualified HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) technician check the heat pump/air conditioner for leaks and charge with the proper amount of refrigerant.
Problem: Heat pump thermostat is set on Emergency Heat or E Heat (strip heat).
This bypasses the heat pump completely and heating is provided solely by the strip heat. Some folks mistake the “E” in this setting for “efficient” heating, when in fact, it’s the most inefficient setting your system has!
Solution: Change the mode on the thermostat from E Heat to Heat.
Problem: Thermostat set too high in winter or too low in summer.
This causes the heat pump, furnace or air-conditioning unit to run for longer periods and use more energy.
Solution: The department of energy recommends a setting of 68 degrees for winter and 78 degrees in the summer. Also, have an HVAC technician check the thermostat for proper calibration.
Problem: Leaky or loose ductwork.
This causes the heat pump, furnace or air-conditioning unit to run longer because heated or cooled air enters unconditioned spaces like your crawlspace or attic. You would be surprised how often we find this issue.
Solution: Have an HVAC technician check for leaky or loose ductwork and make the necessary repairs.
Problem: Water heater/water heater pipe leaking.
This will cause the water heater element(s) to energize for longer periods of time, trying to heat the incoming water that will replace what is leaking out.
Solution: Check regularly for leaks. If a leak is found, have an experienced handyman or licensed plumber fix the leak or replace the water heater if needed.
Problem: Well pump running continuously.
This can happen because of an issue with the pump or because of a burst water pipe from inside the well, in the line to your home or underneath the home. If this occurs on the hot water side, the water heater can energize in addition to the well pump running, increasing your costs even more.
Solution: Have an experienced handyman or licensed plumber fix the leak.
Problem: Electric space heater use. These heaters use resistance heat which can consume a lot of energy and are costly to operate.
Solution: If this type of heater is used, only use one and move it to the room you are going to occupy (otherwise known as zone heating). Be sure to follow all the safety recommendations, including placing the heater at least three feet away from any combustible materials.
Our Mobile App and Online Member Service Portal provide you full access to your account with many convenient energy management tools at your fingertips. The Energy Usage Monitoring tool charts your electricity use each day, and even allows you to drill down to how much electricity is used each hour.
Furthermore, you can set up a High Usage Alert to be notified when your energy usage goes above a specified amount. This can be very valuable in helping you identify an appliance malfunction, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in wasted energy.
Finding ways to help you save energy dollars is important to us. Valuable tools like Manage My Energy on the RandolphEMC.com website, usage monitoring and alerts and energy audits are just a few of the ways we at Randolph EMC are looking out for you.
To learn about other ways to make your home more energy efficient or schedule a free home energy audit, visit RandolphEMC.com or call your local office.
Cooperatively Yours in Safety,
Dale F. Lambert Chief Executive Officer
Learn more about Randolph Electric Membership Corporation.