A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Extremely hot weather and higher energy bills: Duke Energy offers some tips and some free tools

Hot weather can lead to higher energy bills as Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky customers try to stay cool this summer. The company is offering free tools and tips to help customers manage those costs.

“We know that May and June brought above-average temperatures here in the Greater Cincinnati area, and according to our company meteorologists, that trend will continue in July and August,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We want to make sure our customers have the information and tools they need to help control their energy costs.”

Ways to manage summer electricity bills

Duke Energy offers free programs and tools to help customers better understand and manage their energy expenses. Keep in mind that the further your thermostat setting is from the actual temperature outside, the more energy you’ll use. Here are some tips to help manage costs:

Budget Billing gives customers better control over their energy spending by establishing predictable monthly payments.

Use fans

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.

Customers with smart meters can check online to view their daily usage tool. Smart meters collect usage information by the hour, so checking spikes throughout the month – by day and even hour – can show what appliances and behaviors are increasing their bill.

Low- to no-cost summer tips

Set your AC to the comfortable setting that meets your lifestyle needs. Hot summer days can mean higher energy bills. The further your thermostat setting is from the temperature outside, the higher your energy bill will be.

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.

Additional resources

Eligible homeowners can get a free home energy assessment, which includes an Energy Efficiency Starter Kit containing LEDs, an energy-efficient showerhead, and switch and outlet energy seals.

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.

From Duke Energy

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