Tips for keeping the power bill down in these cold months

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These cold months can really be a drain on your energy bill, but there are some simple measures you can take to help find some savings.

FOX8's Lindsay Tuman spoke with Duke Energy about what you can do in your own home to help.

“A lot of things are just awareness, and you being aware that there are things you can do. I think so often with our energy bill, we think there’s nothing we can do to control it. But there’s really some simple things that don’t cost much at all that can make a big difference on your bill," Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks said.

Some examples are things like switching out your light bulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs. That can help with savings year-round. Also make sure your windows are completely sealed shut, not letting any cold air in or warm air out.

Duke Energy also offers a free energy audit for some homes. A technician will come out and evaluate your home, helping pinpoint issues that might be causing your bill to creep up. You need to check with the company to see if you qualify.

Something else that can help: customers can get a better understanding of where they're using the most energy during the day by taking a look at your online daily usage chart.

“That meter actually, every day, sends your information to Duke Energy to put it on your customer portal so you can see yesterday at 4 o'clock, this is how much energy I was using. It’s a great way to understand your energy usage habits and where are the places during the day I can save the most energy,” Brooks said.

To get a closer look at some of the changes being made to homes across the Piedmont to be more energy efficient, we also took a look at an energy-efficient home on the market. Even older homes have plenty of small upgrades that add up to cost savings for homeowners.

“For example, this home that’s listed right now on the market is 1970, so it’s an older home. But the owner has done a lot to make it energy efficient. He put in the double-paned windows, the insulation in the attic, the new HVAC, the LED lightbulbs throughout the house are energy efficient,” Lindsey Whitlatch with TRM Real Estate in Greensboro said.

She says she also recommends her clients look for a few key things in homes to make sure they will be more energy efficient.

”We always recommend to our buyers they check the insulation in the attic. You can tell almost by looking. It’s fluffy and about 12 inches thick; that means it’s a higher quality. The windows, if you can tell that they’re double-paned, those are usually very energy efficient; it helps keep the heat in. And the weather stripping along the doors, making sure the weather stripping covers so the drafts don’t come in and out,” Whitlatch said.

If you need help paying for your energy bill this winter, Duke Energy offers other programs to help. They have a Share the Warmth program which can help with bills, and they also offer different payment options. Contact the company for help deciding what will be best for you.

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