Stay Cool and Save Money This Summer

Starkville Utilities empowers customers to beat the heat

With another scorching summer in the forecast, Starkville Utilities is encouraging customers to take action to Beat the Heat with simple, do-it-yourself steps to control cooling costs while staying comfortable.

“Extreme temperatures can turn up the heat not just outside, but also on your wallet,” said Edward Kemp, Starkville Utilities’ general manager. “With a few simple Beat the Heat strategies, you can keep cool and save some green this summer.”

A typical family spends nearly $2,000 annually on home energy bills, with nearly half going toward cooling and heating. But many of those hard-earned dollars are wasted if homes aren’t adequately sealed. In fact, gaps around windows and doors in an average American house are the equivalent of having a 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the wall!

It pays to keep cooled air inside by caulking and weather-stripping to seal off air leaks and using window putty to seal gaps around loose windowpanes. Attaching “sweeps” or “shoes” to the bottom of doors also keeps cooled air from escaping.

Here are more tips to maximize cost savings this summer:

  • Set thermostats at 78°F. This setting is cool enough to be a welcome relief from the summer heat without overworking your air conditioner and inflating your energy bill. For every degree set above 72°F, you can save up to 3% on cooling expenses.
  • Be a fan of fans. A ceiling fan allows you to raise thermostats about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. During summer months, ceiling fan blades should spin counterclockwise, creating a cool breeze and pushing air down. Turn off fans when you leave the room; fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • Close curtains, blinds and shades to block outdoor heat from radiating inside. Try to use light, reflective window coverings to deflect the sun’s rays.
  • Routinely replace AC filters. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your AC’s energy consumption by 5-15%. Clean or replace filters every month or two during the summer. Filters may need more frequent attention if the AC is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions or you have fur-bearing pets inside.
  • Buy smarter bulbs. An LED light bulb costs as little as $5 and can save more than $100 over its lifetime. LEDs use up to 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs while delivering the same amount of light. Efficient lighting also runs cooler.
  • Use appliances strategically. Operating large appliances like ovens and stoves during the day means your cooling system has to work against the heat coming from pots and pans. If possible, cook in the evenings or grill outdoors. Run the clothes dryer at night or consider line drying.
  • Unplug electronics such as chargers, TVs and computers when not in use. So-called “energy vampires” account for 5-10% of residential energy use and could cost the average U.S. household as much as $100 a year.
  • Lower water-heating costs. Setting water heaters at 120ºF is sufficient for most households and slows mineral buildup and corrosion in the water heater and pipes. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes and consider air drying them. Washing and rinsing clothes with cold water can save around $200 annually.

Starkville Utilities offers several energy-saving incentives and solutions for residential customers through the TVA EnergyRight program, including free home energy workshops where customers can learn do-it-yourself strategies to lower energy bills. Customers also may visit the U.S. Department of Energy for information about improving home energy efficiency.

Starkville Utilities is a public utility serving 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville, Mississippi as well as Mississippi State University. Its mission is to supply safe, reliable, and cost-effective electric and water service of superior quality and value that improves the lives of its customers.

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville