(UNDATED) - Record heat is a recipe for high summer electric bills. However, there are steps consumers can follow to manage and reduce their bills.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) offers consumers a variety of tips for reducing summer electric bills. Consumers can find the tips on the agency's website (www.IN.gov/OUCC) or call the agency toll-free.
* Set the thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature and dress appropriately.
* Be sure the filter in your air conditioner is clean. Replace it if necessary.
* Keep vents clean and make sure they are not blocked by furniture or other items.
* Make sure ceiling fans are set to turn counter-clockwise, and turn them off when leaving the room.
* Close blinds, shades, and draperies. Close storm doors and windows.
* Turn off TVs, computers and other electronic devices when you are not using them.
* Unplug chargers for cell phones, rechargeable batteries, and similar items when not in use.
* Wait until evening to use the oven, do laundry or run the dishwasher.
* Close vents in rooms you are not using and close doors to those rooms.
* Use exhaust fans sparingly and close the damper if you have a fireplace.
* Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
* Turn off all unnecessary lights.
"Saving energy can help consumers manage their bills while helping ease the strain on the electric grid and power plants during these especially hot days," said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. "I encourage everyone to take steps that will make a difference in energy consumption and savings."
In addition to taking steps to save energy in the short term, many Indiana consumers can receive residential home energy assessments from Energizing Indiana at no extra charge. To learn more and sign up for an assessment if you qualify, visit www.energizingindiana.com or call 1-888-446-7750.
Consumers without Internet access who would like a free copy of the OUCC's "Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill" fact sheet can call the OUCC toll-free at 1-888-441-2494. The fact sheet is available in both English and Spanish.
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org