ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Duke Energy meteorologists are forecasting slightly above normal temperatures this summer in Florida, which can cause a seasonal spike in customers’ electric bills.
Duke Energy Florida urges customers to take control of their energy use by making simple, energy-efficient changes in their homes. Follow these 10 low-cost to no-cost energy-efficiency tips to save on your energy bill all summer long:
Set your AC to the highest comfortable setting. Every degree increase saves you 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. Make sure your HVAC system is ready to keep you cool by having it checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor.
Don't cool an empty house. If you'll be out and about, program your thermostat to work around your schedule.
Close the blinds. Shutting 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 they are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
Turn off unnecessary lights. And, use energy-efficient light bulbs that use less electricity and emit less heat.
Seal air leaks with caulking and weather stripping. And keep the door closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.
Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Click here for more tips and information on how you can reduce your summer energy bills.
Duke Energy offers a variety of programs, incentives and rebates to help customers save money, including:
- Home Energy Checks – Through this free service, which can be performed online, over the phone or in person, energy advisors provide energy-saving recommendations and determine customers’ eligibility for company rebates toward energy-efficient improvements.
Following the home energy check, customers in single-family homes receive a free energy efficiency kit, which includes an energy-efficient showerhead, faucet aerators, a hot water gauge, a refrigerator/freezer thermometer, weather-strip seals for doors and windows, switch and outlet insulation seals and LED light bulbs.
To sign up, call 1.877.574.0340 or visit the company’s Home Energy Check website. Customers living in apartments, condominiums, duplexes and townhomes may be eligible for the Multi-Family Energy Improvement Program.
- Upgrade attic insulation – Upgrading to insulation that’s rated R-38 or greater is the best way to reduce high home cooling and heating costs. Following a Duke Energy Home Energy Check, customers may qualify for a rebate of up to $200.
Monitoring your energy use
- High bill alerts – Customers will receive high bill alerts if their bill is projected to be $30 AND 30 percent higher than usual. This projection is based upon historical usage and whether the temperatures are higher or lower than last month. The courtesy alerts are sent halfway through the normal billing cycle, allowing customers to have time to make energy-saving choices to help reduce their bill. In order to receive an alert, a customer should have a current email address on file and at least 12 months of usage history. Visit www.duke-energy.com/home/billing/high-bill-alerts
About Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power 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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Contact: Ann Marie Varga