Starkville Utilities Urges Customers to Keep Warm In, Winter Out

Stay cozy and control heating costs with these energy-saving tips

Before customers turn up the heat, Starkville Utilities is helping them fight the cold and save money with the Warm In, Winter Out initiative.

“With temperatures dropping across Mississippi, it’s time to focus on easy ways to control heating expenses and lower energy bills,” said Edward Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. ““By putting our Warm In, Winter Out tips into practice, customers can make their homes more energy efficient, not only during the winter months but all year long.”

One of the easiest and most effective strategies is following recommended thermostat settings year-round, which can save up to 10% percent annually on energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. During wintertime, set thermostats at 68°F while you’re awake and lower the setting while asleep or away from home.

Because heating costs typically make up over 40% of a utility bill, keeping warm air inside will keep more money in your pocket. Adding caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks around windows and doors will help control indoor temperatures during summer and winter.

Space heaters also help—but only when used safely. Space heaters are responsible for the majority of fatal house fires, so it’s important to follow instructions for safe operation to prevent fire hazards. Also keep in mind that space heaters work more effectively in smaller, enclosed rooms where people spend most of their time.

Here are more tips to improve energy efficiency and lower heating bills this winter:

  • Let there be light: Keep curtains open on the south side of the house and closed on the north during the day to trap the warming sunlight.
  • Increase your home’s IQ: Install an ENERGY STAR certified programmable thermostat.
  • Bundle up: Insulate heating and cooling ducts and repair air leaks. Add insulation to your attic, crawl spaces and any accessible exterior walls.
  • Keep it clean: Change air filters monthly. Dirty filters force heating systems to work harder.
  • Seal it up: In addition to caulking and weatherstripping, install insulating gaskets to exterior light switches and electrical outlets to stop air leaks.
  • Family meals: Take advantage of the heat generated by cooking.
  • Close the damper: Don’t send warm air up the chimney. Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
  • Decorate: Use area rugs if you have hardwood or tile floors to keep your feet warm.
  • Create breathing room: Keep weeds and debris away from the outdoor unit of your heating system.
  • Water supply: Turn down your water heater temperature to the warm setting (120°F).
  • Stop energy vampires: Unplug electronics when away from home. Some appliances and devices use energy even when turned off.
“We also encourage customers to sign up for our easy and convenient payment options to help better manage bills,” added Kemp. “These flexible choices are designed to provide more control over your utility account, billing cycle and household budget.”

For more information about energy efficiency and smart electricity upgrades, visit Tennessee Valley Authority’s EnergyRight website. Customers also may visit the U.S. Department of Energy website at and select “Save Energy, Save Money.”

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