Charlotte J. Cavell
Implement energy-saving tips to reduce usage and save money
NEW ORLEANS – With temperatures forecasted in the low 30s south of Lake Pontchartrain and possible snow forecasted on the Northshore, it is safe to say that winter has arrived in the New Orleans area.
While these cold conditions aren’t expected until Friday, now is the time to implement energy-saving tips so you can reduce your usage and keep more cash in your wallet.
“Saving on energy costs doesn’t have to mean giving up comfort,” said Melonie Stewart, director of customer service. “There are many quick, do-it-yourself projects that can help keep your home nice and warm while keeping the cold air outside where it belongs.”
Here are the top five winter energy savers:
- Adjust the thermostat. During the winter months, grab a sweater or a blanket to stay toasty, and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill. So if you crank the heat up to 78 degrees, you’ve already added 30 percent.
- Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at your local home improvement store and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
- Replace air and furnace filters every 30 days or as required by the type of filter.
- When you change your light bulbs, replace them with newer, energy-efficient models that use less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home.
Other tips include:
- Keep all doors and windows closed when the heat is on.
- Open drapes to let warm sunlight in during the day. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
- Schedule a heating system checkup with a licensed professional if you haven’t already done so.
- Do not block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
- Close the damper on fireplaces when not in use.
- Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees if away from home for several days.
More tips, as well as clear, do-it-yourself videos, to help put these ideas to work can be found at entergy.com/savemoney. Orleans Parish customers can also visit Energy Smart, a New Orleans program that offers incentives and rebates on a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades year-round.
“Extreme temperatures in any season can bring spikes in your energy usage,” Stewart added. “Now is also a good time to sign up for Level Billingthat helps you eliminate those spikes by paying an average amount each month. This is extremely helpful in managing your budget.”
Other convenient payment options include:
- Pick-A-Date, which allows customers to choose the date when their bills are due.
- Automatic Monthly Payments, which save customers the trouble of writing and mailing checks.
Entergy also assists elderly and disabled low-income customers through its customer-assistance fund, The Power to Care, that is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. To find out how to get assistance, or to contribute to the fund, visit entergy.com or check the donation box on your monthly bill.
Entergy New Orleans, LLC is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 198,000 customers and natural gas to more than 106,000 customers.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. The company has operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana. Both companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $10.8 billion and nearly 13,000 employees.