Energy-Saving Tips Help Customers Keep Warm In, Winter Out

Stay cozy and lower home heating costs with these simple steps

As temperatures begin to drop across the state, Starkville Utilities is helping customers keep their homes comfortable while lowering heating costs with the Warm In, Winter Out initiative.

“Increases in heating costs are expected during cold weather, but we want customers to know that improving energy efficiency can make a difference,” said Terry Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. “Through the Warm In, Winter Out initiative, we’re providing a number of simple, low-cost strategies to help customers reduce household energy expenses while keeping their homes comfortable.”

Controlling heating costs is a key part of the strategy. That’s because heating uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in the home during winter months, typically making up about 42 percent of a utility bill. Small adjustments can add up to significant savings, such as keeping thermostats set at 68 degrees, sealing cracks around windows and doors, and taking advantage of solar heat.

While space heaters can help with heating your home, they usually are not energy efficient and tend to use a lot of electricity. If not correctly placed, they can create fire hazards. Space heaters are more effective when used in smaller, enclosed rooms and only when people are in the room to enjoy the heat.

During cold weather, Starkville Utilities recommends that customers focus on making their homes more energy efficient by taking these simple steps:

  • Save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while asleep or away from home.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
  • Keep vents open and uncluttered to maximize airflow efficiency.
  • Replace furnace or heat pump filters once a month or as needed.
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to reduce waste heat.
  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs; led light bulbs will last longer and use less energy.
  • Turn down your water heater temperature to the warm setting (120°F).
  • Unplug electronics when away from home. Some appliances and devices use energy even when turned off.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are finished cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
  • During winter, keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Take these steps to protect pipes during freezing weather:

  • Insulate vulnerable pipes and install outdoor faucet covers.
  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if the garage contains water lines.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes.
  • Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes when temperatures are expected to be 30 degrees or below for over at least 4 hour.
“We think customers will find value in using Warm In, Winter Out tips during cold months,” said Kemp. “A series of small adjustments can end up making a significant impact on home power consumption, and that means lower utility bills while still maintaining comfort.”

Customers may visit the TVA EnergyRight website and select “I’m here for home energy needs” for information about improving the energy-efficiency of homes.

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