Feeling the heat? Energy experts share ways to save while keeping cool

Benton PUD energy adviser Kevin Fischer says bills can double in the summer months because of cooling usage.

With the sun blazing and the heat rising, staying cool is a necessity, but it's going to cost energy customers.

“Typically, we can see bills more than double in the summer time based on cooling usage,” says Benton PUD energy adviser Kevin Fischer.

The biggest cause for expense is the air conditioner, but there are ways to save.

Fischer recommends closing the blinds during the day to keep the sun out, opening the windows at night to bring cooler air in and cleaning the furnace filters.

He also says increasing the temperature on the air conditioner up to 75 to 77 degrees and using a fan to move air around can help in a bigway.

“If you set it up one degree, you can save three to five percent on your cooling bill, which could be half of your electricity bill in the July, August months when it’s the hottest.

Another surprising energy saver is cooking outside rather than using the oven: “The oven will really heat up your house, so you have to pay to cool that as well as heat your oven up. So, it’s almost like a double whammy.

Some utility companies, including Benton PUD and Franklin PUD, also allows customers to check their usage online using the Smart Hub app. Benton PUD communications specialist says the app can help customers “see changes over time on your hourly usage.”

There are also other ways to save heat that can be found at hardware stores.

Griggs Department Store manager CJ Grigg says they provide window insulation kits that can keep cool air from escaping outside, as well as blinds and curtains. There are also plenty of fans and air conditioners available.

With the upcoming forecast, Grigg says they're seeing more and more people come in: “We’re pretty well stocked because it is a little bit later than normal where it’s getting into those hundred degree digits, but it’ll start flying out here real quick.”

More more energy saving tips, click here.

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