Meteorologists predict near-normal summer temperatures - and about 2-2.5 degrees cooler than last summer
Summer electricity bills may be $3-$5 lower per month compared to 2016
Customers can take control of their energy use with free tools and tips
CINCINNATI -- Duke Energy customers may be pleasantly surprised when they receive their electricity bills this summer.
Company officials say that compared to a year ago, average bills for residential customers could drop 3-4 percent in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. That equates to roughly $3-$5 of savings per month.
"We experienced warmer-than-normal weather last summer," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "As a result, our customers used more electricity to cool their homes. This summer, we're forecasting temperatures that are closer to normal. That means our customers, on average, should see their electricity use and charges drop compared to one year ago."
Summer forecast: Near normal
Duke Energy meteorologists expect June will result in temperatures that are 0.7 degrees cooler than normal, July will be average, and August will be 1 degree cooler than normal – all in Duke Energy's Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky service areas.
As a comparison, in 2016, June was 2.2 degrees warmer than normal, July was 1.1 degrees warmer than normal, and August was 3.5 degrees warmer than normal.
Overall, meteorologists believe this summer will be around 2-2.5 degrees cooler than summer 2016.
Ways to manage summer electricity bills
Even though electricity bills may be lower this summer, they'll likely be higher than what customers experienced in April and May – months that typically bring mild temperatures and lower electricity bills.
Duke Energy offers free programs and tools to help customers better understand and manage their energy expenses throughout the year.
- Budget Billing gives customers better control over their energy spending by establishing predictable monthly payments.
- Our online savings calculators help customers understand how their homes use energy – and how they can potentially reduce their consumption and better manage their summer bills.
- Customers can also sign up to receive High Bill Alerts for when adverse weather is projected to increase their electric bills by at least 30 percent and $30 compared to historical usage.
Summer energy-efficiency tips
Customers can also manage their energy use by taking advantage of these 10 low- to no-cost summer energy tips:
- Set your AC to the highest comfortable setting. Every degree increase saves about 5 percent in cooling costs. Energy Star recommends a minimum set point of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Change or clean your air filters monthly. A dirty air filter can make a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Inspect and service your HVAC. Have your HVAC system checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to make sure it is operating efficiently. This will also help extend the life of the system.
- Don't cool an empty house. If you'll be out and about, adjust or program your thermostat to work around your schedule.
- Close the blinds. Shutting blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day can keep the sun's rays from heating your house.
- Grill outdoors. Cooking in the oven and on the stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors or prepare meals that don't require cooking.
- Use fans in occupied rooms. They circulate air to supplement air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
- Turn off unnecessary lights. Be sure to turn off lights when you leave a room. Lights emit heat and cause your air conditioning system to work harder.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
- Seal air leaks with caulking and weather stripping. And keep the door closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.
Duke Energy partners with local agencies to help low-income customers who may struggle to pay their energy bills. Please visit the company's website or call 800.544.6900 to learn more about the special assistance programs available to Ohio and Kentucky customers.
In addition, financial emergencies may occur from time to time. Duke Energy strongly encourages customers to call 800.544.6900 to learn about payment arrangements if they receive a disconnection notice and cannot pay before the disconnection date.
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky's operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area and natural gas service to approximately 529,000 customers.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
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Media contact: Lee Freedman