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Spending more time at home? This is how you can keep your energy bills down

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Most of us are spending a lot more time at home now. With that comes more energy usage.

Add the warmer weather on top of that and you are looking at an energy bill that could suddenly spike.

OUC has a list of ways you can simply and inexpensively keep your bill from taking you by surprise.

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Each degree below 78 degrees can cost you 6% to 8% more on your bill.
  • Make sure your fan is set to “auto,” not “on.”
  • Wash only full loads in dishwashers and washing machines. Using hot water can add about 90% to the cost of each load, so consider using cold water.
  • Replace your air filter on a regular basis.
  • Use ceiling fans to make rooms feel cooler, and be sure they’re turning counter-clockwise. Don’t forget to turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Caulk and replace weather strips around doors and leaky windows.
  • Utilize blinds, drapes and shades to keep the sun and heat out, particularly on windows that face east or west.
  • Make sure your water heater is set to no more than 125 degrees.
  • Clear your dryer vent regularly to improve efficiency and prevent fires.

If you’re putting forth the effort and want to see how it’s paying off, you can keep tabs on your daily -- and even hourly -- electric and water consumption on OUC’s usage dashboard. Check yours by clicking here. Even if you aren’t an OUC customer, you can click here to find out how efficient your home’s energy is and where you can make improvements to lower bills.