The following is a press release from Southern Pine Electric Power Association:
TAYLORSVILLE – This winter has brought abnormally cold weather, with temperatures dropping below freezing and staying there for long periods. Unfortunately, the lingering cold has meant higher power bills for many Mississippians, including our members.
The cold temperatures mean our home heating systems have to work harder to keep us warm. That leads to higher electricity use and higher bills.
"Our temperatures in south Mississippi have been much lower than in recent years,' said Southern Pine General Manager Donald L. Jordan. "And that has caused our members to use more electricity to keep warm."
The average temperature in January 2011 was 56 degrees. A year later it was 53 degrees and in 2013 it was 51 degrees.
But the average temperature in January 2014 was 40 degrees, thanks to some days when the thermometer dropped into the teens or lower
Cold weather has a great impact on a consumer's bill. Let's say the outside temperature is 25 degrees and the thermostat on your heating system is set at the recommended 68 degrees. Your system has to work much harder to maintain 68 degrees. And that means you're using more electricity.
Even if you were not at home during the day, unless the thermostat was turned down much lower or the heating system was cut off, it continued to heat your home while you were gone.
"We want to work with our members to help them save energy and reduce their bills," Jordan said. "We offer energy-efficiency tips and program, such as free home energy audits in which we come to your home and make recommendations on what you can do to control your use."
Here are some cold-weather tips that can help:
Install a programmable thermostat that gives you better control of the heating system throughout the day.
If your fireplace is not being used, be sure the damper is closed.
Change your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter forces the heating/cooling system to work harder and use more electricity.
Caulk or weather strip around doors and windows. The goal is to keep cold air out and warm air in.
Add insulation to your home. Southern Pine recommends R-38 or better for attic insulation.
Drapes and blinds should be closed at night. In the daytime, open drapes and blinds that get direct sunlight.
Try to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter.
Consider our levelized billing program that will keep your bill around the same amount each month. Go to www.spepa.com for details about the program.
Sign up for MyPower, a program that allows you to monitor your daily use, set budget alerts and see past monthly bills. Log on to www.spepa.com to sign up.
Check out www.spepa.com for our home energy calculators and other energy-saving tips.
Southern Pine is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative that distributes power to more than 65,000 members in 11 south Mississippi counties. Our headquarters are in Taylorsville and we have offices in Brandon, Hattiesburg, Newton and New Hebron.
3221 South Evans Street
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