You’ve Got the Power to Lower Summer Energy Costs

Simple adjustments can make a real difference in your wallet

Forecasters are predicting another scorching summer, and Clarksdale Public Utilities urges customers to make small adjustments now that can lower energy costs later.

Through its Simple Steps initiative, CPU suggests keeping thermostats set at 78 degrees, using fans to circulate air and waiting until cooler evening hours to use appliances such as ovens or clothes dryers.

“It is normal to see an increase in utility bills when extreme temperatures make staying comfortable a challenge,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “By implementing a few easy strategies, you can make a real difference in just how much the summer heat impacts your wallet.”

Consider these five ways to increase home energy efficiency and lower cooling costs without sacrificing comfort:

  • Ensure your A/C is in good shape. Get it inspected by a licensed technician who can make sure your system is well-tuned, leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible. Also, don’t forget to regularly replace or clean the air filter to increase air flow, improve your comfort and extend the life of your system.
  • Watch that thermostat. Set it to the industry-suggested summer setting of 78°F. Since every degree below that can raise your bill by as much as 3%, cranking it down to say 70°F in response to the heat adds 24% — money that could be better spent on buying a programmable thermostat to automatically do the work for you.
  • Put fans and curtains to good use. 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. And while you’re at it, close window coverings to keep the sun out and the cool air in.
  • Break out the caulk gun. Sealing cracks and holes around doors, windows and duct work with caulk or weather stripping will help keep your comfortable, cool air inside the house and the hot air outdoors.
  • Reduce the heat in your home. Instead of using the oven on hot days, grill outside instead to help keep your kitchen cool. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Minimize activities that generate excess heat such as using clothes dryers until temperatures drop a little after sunset.
“Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of home energy use,” said Boschert. “We suggest that customers turn down the water heater temperature to the warm setting (120°F), wash only full loads of dishes and clothes and consider taking short showers instead of baths.”

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.

Assistance is available for qualified customers still struggling with utility bills 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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