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Cold Weather Drives Higher Energy Usage

To show how weather affects energy usage, the last week is a great example of how quickly things can change from one day to the next. Looking at this chart, you’ll see that when the high temperature (red line) on Saturday, Feb. 21, reached 62 degrees and the low (blue line) dropped only to 60 degrees, this member used 42 kWh (or about $4 worth of electricity) that day. Fast forward to Monday, Feb. 23, when the high and low temperatures were only 27 degrees, the same United member used 297 kWh (or about $29 worth of electricity) that day because the heating system ran virtually all day.

Feb. 23 usage spike

Heating and cooling are responsible for the largest part of a typical electric bill. Even if you aren’t home, heating units will run to reach the thermostat setting. Even when you lower your thermostat to 60 degrees as you walk out the door to work in the morning, if it’s 30, 40 or even 50 degrees outside, it’s going to affect the ambient air in your home and trigger the heater to turn on.

Use the tips below to ensure your household is using energy wisely.

  • Ensure attic insulation levels are sufficient and add more, if necessary. United recommends an insulation value of R-38 (United provides rebates on some qualifying attic insulation upgrades).
  • Weatherize the home, including caulking around windows and sealing with weather-stripping around doors.
  • Ensure duct work is adequately sealed at joints and intersections with appropriate tape or mastic.
  • Avoid using electric space heaters, which are energy hogs and can substantially increase electric bills.
  • Ensure the fireplace flue is closed when not in use. An open flue sucks heat out of the home.
  • Utilize programmable thermostats to lower the home temperature when not at home and set it no higher than 68 degrees when occupying the home.
  • Water heaters should be set to 120 degrees and if the unit is in a garage or another unconditioned space, utilize an insulated water heater blanket (United members may obtain one during a free energy audit while supplies last).
  • Check and or change furnace filters monthly.
  • Close drapes at night.

During these cold weather extremes, please put more emphasis on wasting less energy and controlling your usage. Ask us to perform a free home energy audit to learn which areas in your home waste energy and how to resolve those issues. Click HERE to sign up for your free on-site analysis.


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Free Energy Audit Can Lead to Energy Savings
When temperatures get low, energy use gets high. Weather plays the most significant role in energy use. Whether your home isn’t tight or your heating and cooling system isn’t running as efficiently as it should, ask us to perform a free home energy audit to learn which areas in your home waste energy and how to resolve those issues. Click HERE to sign up for your free on-site analysis. United Cooperative Services…Looking Out For You.

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