CPU Says Stop Sweating Over High Summer Bills

Take simple steps now to lower energy costs without sacrificing comfort

When outside temperatures are feeling hot, hot, hot, we all want inside temperatures to feel as cool as they possibly can. And with forecasters expecting 2023 to be yet another scorcher, it looks like our homes and businesses will once more provide a refreshing respite from the heat.

In fact, the National Weather Service not only predicts a warmer summer across the Mid-South region, but a wetter one as well. Clarksdale Public Utilities urges customers to get in front of those sweltering days now by taking steps to help reduce energy usage and keep summer utility bills in check.

“It is normal to see an increase in energy usage when temperatures are at their most extreme,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “By making small efforts to be more efficient, customers can manage what they pay for electricity without sacrificing comfort. Something as simple as closing the blinds or sealing cracks can go a long way when it comes to keeping the cool air inside and helping A/C units work less.”

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that heating and cooling costs are some of the largest energy expenses in any home. CPU’s Simple Steps initiative offers a variety of ways to improve energy efficiency and stop sweating over high summer bills. And the best part is that most are budget-friendly and easy to implement.

The top ways to save energy and keep costs lower include:

  • Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Also, close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
  • Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and duct work. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air inside the house and the hot air outdoors.
  • Use fans to cool off. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity and circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. Just remember that fans cool people, not rooms, so be sure to turn them off when you leave.
  • Get your A/C unit inspected. A licensed A/C technician can make sure your system is well-tuned, leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible.
  • Replace or clean the air filter. The air filter’s job is to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC equipment. Clean filters help increase air flow, improve your comfort and extend the life of your system.
  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees. Every degree lower than the suggested summer setting of 78 can raise your bill as much as 3 percent. So if you crank down the A/C to a cooler 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill by 18 percent.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy usage rises, costs also rise. If you spend most of your day outside of the house, set your thermostat to automatically shut off or raise the A/C setting when you’re away.
  • Reduce the heat in your home. Instead of using the oven on hot days, grill outside instead to help keep your kitchen cool.
  • Opt for efficient lighting. When replacing light bulbs, choose one of the many energy-efficient bulbs on the market. And remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  • Lower your water-heating costs. Adjust your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and consider air drying both when possible. Also, if you’re able, take shorter showers instead of baths.
  • Unplug electronics when not in use. Many common household devices use electricity, also known as phantom power, even if the devices themselves are not on. To avoid this, simply unplug them after you’ve turned them off.

Visit the DOE’s Energy Saver website for step-by-step guides on other energy-saving projects. More information on helpful customer programs like Levelized Billing and Pick A Due Date can be found on the CPU website.

If you’re still struggling with utility bills, assistance is available for qualified customers through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. For more information or to apply, visit the Mississippi Department of Human Services website.

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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For more than 125 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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