Last Modified: January 24, 2017
Getting Chills from Your High Winter Bills?
Winter weather hit hard this year! Early in the season, ice storms roared through the Willamette Valley, bringing days of record-breaking low temperatures, snow, and freezing rain. Now weeks later, many customers are finding a chilling reminder of the other damages winter weather can cause: High electric bills.
We’re Here to Help
We understand this time of year can be stressful, particularly when facing a higher-than-normal electric bill. Please remember, we are here to help.
Speak with one of our friendly customer service representatives to set up payment arrangements. We are available 7:30 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Thursday, at 541-746-1583.
We can also provide information and give referrals to local low-income assistance programs. Learn about our programs HERE or call us at 541-746-1583.
If you use an electric system to heat your home, this month’s bill may be significantly higher than normal. That’s because electric heating systems work harder and use more energy to keep you warm when outside temperatures drop below freezing.
There are many days of winter remaining, but these easy and inexpensive steps can help you lower your bill before the warmer seasons begin.
- Take advantage of heat from the sun. Open drapes on south-facing windows when the sun is out. As the sun goes down, close drapes to keep the warm air inside. Insulated/blackout drapes are most effective at keeping the cold out and bills down.
- Seal air leaks. Save more than 10 percent on your heating bill when you reduce air leaks. Air leaks are commonly found at doors, windows, chimneys, light fixtures, and plumbing openings.
- Adjust your thermostat. Snuggle up in a warm sweater or blanket and lower the thermostat. Every degree below 68 can decrease your heating bill 2 to 4 percent! If you have a heat pump, adjust your thermostat 2 degrees at a time. This avoids causing the system to go into the more expensive auxiliary mode, which uses much more energy.
- Bundle up your water heater. Insulating your hot water tank with pre-cut water heater jackets or blankets is easy and inexpensive, and it could save 7 to 16 percent off your water heating costs. In addition to saving energy, insulating exposed pipes with inexpensive closed cell foam wrap can reduce the risk of frozen, burst pipes and costly repairs.
- Maintain your heating system. Clean or replace your heating system filters. When you do this consistently, you can save 5 to 15 percent on your utility costs.
By monitoring your household’s energy usage, you take control of your electric bill. No more allowing harsh winter months to take you by surprise when your electric bill arrives! Simply log into Emerald’s online account management system, SmartHub, from your computer or mobile device to see how much electricity you use monthly, weekly, or even daily. SmartHub also provides temperature data to further demonstrate how weather affects your heating and cooling costs. SmartHub can help you identify the behaviors that drive your bill up so you can make adjustments – saving you both energy and money.
Programs to Help You Prepare for Next Year
Emerald can help you plan ahead and prepare your home for next winter. We offer free energy audits and a variety of energy conservation and weatherization programs to help reduce the effects of extreme weather. CLICK HERE to view our programs or speak to one of our Energy Services representatives today at 541-746-1583.