Beat the Heat with Energy-Saving Tips from CPU

Customers can manage energy costs by taking a few simple steps

As temperatures rise, thoughts turn to barbecues, swimming pools and gatherings with family and friends. And when you’re not outdoors soaking up the sun, chances are you’ll be working to keep your home cool and comfortable.

While staying cool typically means greater electricity usage, it does not have to lead to higher energy costs.

“As in years past, we are helping customers prepare for summer by sharing tips to manage electricity costs during the hottest months when usage tends to be significantly higher,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “These simple strategies make it possible to save energy and stay comfortable.”

Through its Simple Steps initiative, CPU is asking customers to make small adjustments such as keeping thermostats set at 78 degrees, waiting until cooler evening hours to use appliances such as clothes dryers, and using ceiling and box fans to circulate cool air.

CPU also is directing attention to programs already in place that are designed to help customers better manage their electricity usage and household budgets. They include Levelized Billing, Pick A Due Date, and online resources featuring inexpensive ways to maximize the benefits of electricity.

“It is normal to see an increase in utility bills during hot weather,” said Boschert. “Small adjustments by customers will make a big difference. And the best part is that most of these tips are free and easy to implement.”

The following Simple Steps are proven strategies to increase home energy efficiency and lower cooling costs during the summer:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Avoid heating your home with appliances. 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 CFL or LED bulbs on the market over traditional incandescent bulbs. 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.

Customers may visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at and select “Save Energy, Save Money” for information about improving the energy-efficiency of homes.

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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