Knock the chill off your energy bill

Is your energy bill higher than you’ve seen it in a while?  You’re not alone.

Higher bills in the winter are common when heating systems are working around the clock to keep homes at a comfortable temperature.

In January and February, the average low temperature for our area was in the mid-30s, causing heating units to work harder.  If your heating unit is set to 68 degrees and the temp is 60 degrees outside, your unit works to make up an 8-degree difference. Consider a 30-degree night, your unit must make up a 38-degree difference, causing the heating unit to cycle on/off more often to raise and maintain the desired temperature of 68 degrees.

Higher bills in the winter can also come as a shock , because the previous bills in both October and November are generally low, due to milder temps in our region during those months. A typical household tends to go from running neither heat nor air to running heat continuously.

High bills can also be a sign that there may be energy efficiency deficits within the home. These issues can range from freezing cold air leaking into the home through windows or door facings, heating elements going bad within your unit, no skirting around mobile homes or malfunctioning heating strips.

What follows are some recommendations to help combat high energy bills:

  1. Download our free mobile app and monitor your daily energy use. This will help you see when your energy consumption is high and take better control of your usage.
  2. Just like we need an annual checkup, so does your HVAC unit. Be sure to have a certified electrician give your unit a tune-up each year to ensure that it is working properly. Member-owners can also request a free home energy assessment via our Upgrade to $ave program at no cost to them.
  3. Keep your thermostat as low as possible in the winter. The Department of Energy suggests no higher than 68 degrees.
  4. Install a timer on your hot water heater. A common myth is that your hot water heater only runs when it is being used. A hot water heater, without a timer, will run all day to keep the water in the tank at the temperature you have se -- meaning it is running even while you sleep.  If you are a Roanoke Connect subscriber, you can also get a Carina water-heater control to help save energy.
  5. Avoid using space heaters in your home. They use a lot of electricity.
  6. Consider signing up for budget billing. Our budget billing program allows you to know how much your bill will be each month with no surprises. This amount is figured based on a yearly average of your monthly bills and is adjusted annually.

If you have questions or concerns about your bill, contact the co-op at 252-209-2236.