HARRISBURG – As hot weather settles across Pennsylvania, and the summer season officially arrives, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) is encouraging consumers to explore simple #WaysToStayCool and #WaysToSave, conserving energy and keeping summer power bills manageable.
Additionally, consumers struggling with high utility bills are urged to #CallUtilitiesNow to discuss affordability options.
There are several simple things most consumers can do, at little or no added cost, to increase summer comfort while managing power usage and energy costs:
Fan Yourself – Fans circulate the air, keeping you feeling cooler, even at higher temps.
Follow the Shade – Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
Block the Heat – Use window blinds and coverings at the sunniest time of day to reduce unwanted heat buildup.
Don’t Add Extra Heat – Postpone using heat-producing appliances, such as clothes dryers, dishwashers, and stoves until it is cooler.
Cookout, Anyone? – Consider cooking with outdoor barbecue grills or microwaves, rather than stoves or ovens, which add indoor heat.
Circulating air with a fan can help you feel up to 4 degrees cooler,
without needing to lower your thermostat.
In addition to simple ways to feel cooler on hot summer days, the PUC also underscored a series of #WaysToSave – helping to conserve energy and avoid generating unwanted heat inside your home.
#WaysToSave energy and money while staying cool include:
Check your Thermostat – The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill.
Clean is “Green” – Clean and replace air conditioner filters regularly and make sure air circulation paths are clear.
Power Off – Turn off non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.
Don’t Cool Unneeded Space – Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.
Keep the Heat Outside – Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
Every degree you raise your air conditioning thermostat above 72 degrees can save up to 3 percent on cooling expenses.
Additionally, many utilities have posted information on their websites about conservation, energy efficiency, energy use assessments and other tools to help manage energy usage.
Consumers should explore those resources for added tips to save money.
#CallUtilitiesNow to Explore Customer Assistance Programs
For consumers struggling with paying utility bills, the PUC continues to encourage them to #CallUtilitiesNow to discuss the many different affordability options available in Pennsylvania.
Utilities understand the assistance programs available in their communities for income-qualified consumers – including utility-run Customer Assistance Programs, national programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and various hardship fund programs operated by utilities and non-profit organizations.
Public utilities are the first and most direct mechanisms to link struggling households with much-needed assistance. Utilities can help enroll consumers in assistance programs, guide them to other available resources and discuss new payment plan options to address overdue balances and help consumers move forward.