Xcel Energy is offering energy-saving tips to help customers reduce energy use, save money and stay comfortable when the outside temperatures drop.
“Electricity use typically increases during cold weather as customers turn up the heat to stay warm, which can lead to an unwelcome spike in monthly bills,” said Brad Baldridge, director of Customer and Community Relations. “Just being mindful of this, and taking some simple steps to use electricity more efficiently, can help our customers stay within their budgets this winter.”
Xcel offers information on saving energy and money the year around on their website.
Some of the easiest tips for the winter months are:
· Installing a smart thermostat, which saves on energy costs by adjusting the temperature when customers are asleep or away from home. Proper use of a smart thermostat can cut energy bills by almost $180 per year.
· Keeping the thermostat at a moderate setting and wearing warm clothing inside can shave one percent off the total heating bill for every degree the thermostat is set back.
· Replacing or cleaning air filters on heating units every three months helps the heating system work more efficiently, which saves on monthly bills.
· Keeping interior doors open to help air circulate heat more freely helps maintain constant heat and cooling levels.
· Running a ceiling fan in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling adds comfort and savings. ENERGY STAR rated ceiling fans offer the best efficiency ratings.
· Turning down the thermostat when the fireplace is in use prevents the fireplace from drawing heat out of the room. Keeping the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use will also prevent heat loss.
The company also engaged a select group of energy efficiency contractors to help residential customers make their homes more energy-efficient. An expert will identify where cold air is infiltrating the home and make certain adjustments free of charge. Customers can also pay for additional services, but there is no obligation to do so. A list of approved contractors, referred to as “program sponsors,” can be accessed here.