CPU’s Simple Steps Can Lead to Big Savings on Heating Bills

Follow these easy, cost-saving strategies to lower energy costs

Falling leaves and falling temperatures mean Clarksdale Public Utilities customers are relying more on their heating systems to stay comfortable. While higher bills are normal this time of year, CPU is helping customers improve energy efficiency and lower heating expenses through its Simple Steps initiative.

“We are encouraging customers to take steps now to improve energy efficiency, because they can add up to significant savings over the winter months,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “Many of these Simple Steps tips are helpful during all seasons to reduce energy use, save money and stay comfortable.”

During cold weather, more than 40% of a typical residential utility bill goes toward heating costs. To maximize cost savings and comfort, set thermostats at 68°F when home and a few degrees lower when away. Prevent drafts and keep heated air inside by using weatherstripping and caulk to seal cracks around windows and doors.

CPU also reminds customers to minimize heating-related hazards this winter. Space heaters cause the majority of fatal house fires, so safety instructions should be followed to prevent fire hazards. Meanwhile, fireplace dampers or flues should be open before fires are started with a fire extinguisher handy.

With lower temperatures on the way, CPU recommends that customers take these simple steps to make their homes safer and more energy efficient:

  • Have HVAC systems routinely checked by a qualified professional to ensure it operates safely and efficiently year-round.
  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep vents open and uncluttered to maximize airflow efficiency.
  • Replace furnace or heat pump filters once a month or as needed.
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to reduce waste heat.
  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs that use less power and last longer.
  • Turn down your water heater temperature to the warm setting (120°F).
  • Open blinds during the day to take advantage of solar energy and close at night to retain heat.
  • Unplug electronics when away from home. Some appliances and devices use energy even when turned off.

Take these simple steps to protect pipes during freezing weather:

  • Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.
  • Insulate vulnerable pipes and install outdoor faucet covers.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if the garage contains water lines.
“We are working to ensure that our customers are served with safe, reliable and affordable utilities throughout the year,” Boschert said. “That includes helping them save money and increase efficiency through our Simple Steps program.”

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