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Lower your electric bill as temperatures rise

3:11 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As the temperature rises, experts say you can prevent your electric bill from doing the same.  

"It is not a light bill.  It is [an] electric bill," explained JEA Energy Auditor, Gary Harrison.

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Harrison said lights make up a small percentage of your electric charges each month.  Heating and cooling comprise a much larger portion at forty to fifty percent.

In order to keep your bill at a manageable level, Harrison suggested people adjust the temperature when the air conditioning is not needed.

"We recommend raising it up to around 82, 83 degrees when you're gone and when you're there, try to keep the thermostat between 78 and 80," Harrison shared.  "It makes a big difference.  People don't realize how much of a difference that makes, but you do want to raise the thermostat up.  The best way to do that, so you don't forget, is a programmable thermostat."  

In order to save even more, JEA officials urge people to:

  • use curtains or blinds to block out sun during the hottest parts of the day, or tint windows that face direct sunlight
  • utilize ceiling fans
  • change your air filter every month
  • get a "tune up" for your HVAC system to make sure it is running efficiently
Harrison said one thing that will not save you much money is unplugging small appliances every day.  

"That's a wives' tale.  That's something that has gone down kind of as a legend called 'phantom electricity.'  There are very few items that use significant electricity or even insignificant electricity when they're left plugged in and not on," said Harrison.  "So, unplugging your microwave and your toaster and items such as that, it's not going to save you any money."

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